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H&M Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For H&M Data Breach

My Data Privacy Was Breached By H&M Could I Claim Compensation?

In this article, we’re going to look at claiming for an H&M data breach. We’ll also review a reported data breach by H&M that led to a €35.3m fine. Any business will often need to retain a lot of personal information about its staff and customers. In some cases that information may be sensitive. Since the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) was introduced, companies (known as data controllers in data protection law) must have a lawful reason to process such information. In some cases that will mean they must inform staff about why their information is required. If personal data is exposed, or GDPR rules are broken, you may be able to sue for any harm caused if you can prove the impact.

H&M data breach claims guideIf you have been affected by an H&M GDPR breach, we could help you. Legal Expert provides advice on the claims process and offers a free review of your case. Should the claim be strong enough, it could be passed to a data breach solicitor from our team who will work on a No Win No Fee basis if they accept your case.

If you would like us to review your case today, why not call us on 0800 073 8804 right away? Alternatively, you will find useful information about claiming for a data breach by H&M in the rest of this article.

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A Guide To Claims For H&M Data Breaches

The GDPR came into force when The Data Protection Act 2018 was introduced in the UK. While data protection laws already existed, the new rules were designed to give individuals (data subjects) more control over who can use their personal information. In addition, data controllers must now take more care in securing any personal information they process.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for upholding data protection laws in the UK. If they suspect a company has broken the rules, they can investigate the matter and issue fines where necessary. However, they are not able to issue compensation to anybody affected by the issue. Instead, the person would need to take their own legal action.

The process of claiming can be tricky and time-consuming. That’s why we would always advise you to instruct a data breach lawyer to help you. Also, we should let you know that there is a time limit that applies to such claims. Mostly, you will have 6-years to claim from the date you obtained knowledge of the breach. However, if the claim centres on a breach of human rights, you will only get 1-year to begin.

If you are considering claiming for the suffering caused by a data breach by H&M, please call us for free legal advice. An advisor will explain your options after they have reviewed your claim.

What Is A Data Protection Breach Claim Against H&M?

To make a data protection breach claim, there are two main things that will need to be proven. Firstly, you’ll need to be able to show that a breach occurred that involved your personal data. Secondly, you will need to demonstrate that you have suffered damage (financial or psychological) as a result of the breach.

Therefore, an H&M data breach that you could claim for is one where personal data about you has been accessed, altered, lost, destroyed or disclosed in a way that you have not authorised. Additionally, the breach will have resulted in financial losses or psychiatric injuries such as anxiety or depression. 

In this day and age, digital data breaches are becoming more and more common. You are likely to have heard about breaches caused by hackers involving phishing emails, keyloggers, malware, spyware and viruses. However, data breaches involving physical documentation could also lead to a claim.

For example, if your company’s HR department keep paper records in filing cabinets, then they must be kept locked when not in use. Furthermore, those records should be securely destroyed when not needed rather than thrown away with other rubbish to help prevent your information from being leaked.

If you would like to know more about claiming for a data breach by H&M, why not let us know what happened and how you were affected?

What Does The GDPR Mean For Retailers And Customers?

The GDPR is quite a long document but it does provide some clear guidelines on who is responsible for what when it comes to data protection. For example, data controllers are required to show compliance with the following principles when processing personal information:

  • Methods used for data processing must be legal, fair and obvious.
  • Data subjects should be told the reasons why their data is required.
  • Data may only be kept as long as it is needed (there isn’t a specific time period though).
  • Only data that is required may be collected and processed.
  • Personal information must be kept up to date.
  • Secure and confidential processing methods must be used.

The GDPR stipulates that if a data breach does occur, an internal investigation must begin and the ICO must be informed. Data subjects who are identifiable by the breach must be informed about the risks.

If you can prove that you have suffered financial or psychological damage following an H&M data breach, we could help you. Please call our team today for a free assessment of your case.

Enforcement Action Taken Against H&M Or Other Retailers

In this section, we’ll provide information about a data breach that led to H&M being fined by the Data Protection Authority of Hamburg (HmbBfDI), Germany’s equivalent of the ICO.

H&M was fined £32.1 million for conducting illegal surveillance of hundreds of employees.

The investigation found that some managers asked workers about private details in informal chats. They sometimes asked for details of family problems and religious beliefs. These details were then recorded and used when evaluating staff performance and making employment decisions.

The HmbBfDI said that the large fine was issued to “scare off companies from violating people’s privacy”.

Although this case was in Germany, it shows the strength of the GDPR in ensuring personal information is not used in ways that have not been authorised.

More information: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54418936

How retailers could breach the Data Protection Act

Here are some examples of how a retailer could break data protection rules:

  • Sending emails or letters containing personal information to the wrong address.
  • Disposing of customer or staff records in a way that could mean they end up in the public domain.
  • Leaving a computer screen unlocked in-store allowing unauthorised individuals to view personal records.
  • If your private information is sold to or shared with other companies without your consent.

Please call us today if you would like to know more about your chances of being compensated.

How Do I Report A Retailer To The Information Commissioners’ Office?

As mentioned earlier, the ICO can’t award compensation to individuals affected by a data breach. However, their investigation could make legal proceedings easier if they confirm that the company breached the rules. Before you reach out to the ICO, though, you will need to raise a formal complaint with the company first.

Once you have received a formal response and escalated it as high as possible, you could contact the ICO once 3 months have passed. If they choose to investigate, they could fine the company up to 4% of its turnover if they are found guilty of breaking data protection rules in a significant way.

If your claim is taken on by one of our data breach lawyers, they will review your case and advise you if an ICO investigation is needed.

What Compensation May I Be Awarded For A Data Breach?

There is a lot to consider when making a data breach claim. That is because not only do you have to take into account the ways in which you’ve already suffered, you may need to include future suffering as well. The reason for this is that only one claim can be made, and you can’t ask for more compensation once you have settled.

When you begin a claim, you’ll usually start by calculating material damages. That’s the compensation paid to cover any financial losses or expenses. In the first instance, you should find it easy to show what you have already lost. However, you may then need to look at future financial losses as well. For example, where personal details have been sold by criminals on the dark web, it is possible you could continue to lose money for some time until you manage to change your accounts over to new ones.

After financial losses have been calculated, you can move on to non-material damages. This is used to cover any pain or suffering caused by diagnosed injuries like anxiety, stress or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for example. Again, longer-term suffering will need to be considered. Whether you’ll suffer in the future will be assessed by an independent specialist as part of the case. They’ll provide a report following a medical assessment which will include a medical prognosis.

As you can no doubt see, there is a large amount of work required to get a claim right. Therefore, we strongly advise letting a data breach lawyer work on your case. If your case is accepted by a lawyer from our team, they’ll work hard to assess your claim thoroughly to ensure you receive the right level of compensation.

Retail Data Breach Compensation Calculator

Now we are going to look at what compensation could be paid for a data breach by H&M. Importantly, the court of appeal has decided that you can be compensated for injuries caused by a data breach whether you lost money or not (Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015]). They have also ruled that awards should be in line with personal injury compensation.

To show you how much might be awarded for specific injuries, we have used a compensation table. It contains data from the Judicial College Guidelines, a document used by courts, data breach solicitors and insurers when settling claims.

Injury Type Severity Level Settlement Range Further details
Psychiatric Damage (notes) Four different factors are considered when making psychiatric injury claims : 1) The claimant’s ability to cope with life in general and also work; 2) The chances of treating the symptoms successfully; 3) Any affect on the claimant’s relationships; 4) The medical prognosis.
Psychiatric Damage Severe £51,460 – £108,620 The claimant will have serious problems with all the factors listed which will result in a very poor prognosis.
Psychiatric Damage Moderately Severe £17,900 to £51,460 There will be similar significant problems as above but a more optimistic prognosis overall.
Psychiatric Damage Moderate £5,500 to £17,900 The claimant will have suffered with all factors mentioned above but there will be good prognosis because they will have seen some significant recovery already.
Psychiatric Damage Less Severe To £5,500 The settlement in this bracket is based on how long the claimant suffered with daily activities including sleep.

Please use these figures as guidance at this point. When your claim has been reviewed by a specialist, we should be able to offer a more accurate estimate.

Importantly, the severity of any injury is the main factor that will determine the compensation level. Therefore, you will be required to have a medical assessment during your claim. We’ll arrange this locally if you work with a solicitor from our team.

During your appointment, an independent specialist will take time to listen to how you have been affected. They may also look at your medical records as well. After they have assessed the impact of the data breach on you, they will supply a report to your solicitor explaining their findings. This report will be used to evidence your case.

How To Make A Claim For An H&M Data Breach

In this section, we will briefly explain how you could begin a data breach claim. In the first instance, you will need to complain to the company you blame for your suffering. They will reply with a formal response. If you’re not happy with their response, and it’s been 3-months since you last heard from them, you have a couple of options.

You could raise the complaint with the ICO and ask for an investigation or you could begin your own legal proceedings. To do so, you may wish to obtain legal representation to help you. We are here to help if that’s the case so please call us today for further information.

Please remember, you are not obliged to contact the ICO about the data breach. Instead, you may wish to consult with a solicitor first and see if they think an investigation would be helpful.

Could A Specialist Solicitor Help Me?

Now that we have explained why you could claim for a data protection breach and how to do so, you may now want to instruct a solicitor to represent you. If that’s the case, what are your options? You could speak to a friend for a recommendation, find your nearest data breach lawyer or read reviews online.

Alternatively, you could call Legal Expert’s free advice line to begin your claim. When you do, you’ll be able to ask as many questions as you like about the data breach claims process. We’ll also review your claim without any obligation to continue. If the claim does seem like it has good prospects of success, we could refer it to a solicitor from our team. Should they accept your claim following a review, they will:

  • Work with you to fully understand how you have suffered.
  • Arrange for a local medical assessment.
  • Compile your claim and send it to the defendant.
  • Deal with the defendant on your behalf.
  • Update you and answer any questions that crop up.
  • Try their hardest to achieve the maximum compensation possible in your case.

Please call for free advice on the number at the top of the page today.

No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For H&M Data Breaches

We understand that you might be worried about the cost of hiring a data breach lawyer to help you claim. However, if you work with Legal Expert, you won’t need to worry about that too much. That’s because our solicitors provide their services on a No Win No Fee basis for any claim they accept. That gives you access to one of our solicitors with reduced financial risk. In turn, that should mean you’ll find claiming less stressful.

Before your claim is taken on, it will need to be reviewed by a solicitor first. If they decide to work for you, and you would like to continue, they’ll provide you with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This document tells you what the solicitor will need to achieve before they are paid. It will also show you that:

  • You won’t need to pay any money upfront.
  • Solicitor’s fees don’t need to be paid during the claims process.
  • For unsuccessful claims, your solicitor’s fees aren’t payable at all.

Should your solicitor achieve a positive outcome, they will deduct a small success fee from your settlement amount. This fee is a percentage of your compensation. You will know what percentage is payable as it is listed in your CFA. Importantly, to help stop overcharging, success fees for compensation claims are capped by law.

If you would like an advisor to check if you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis, please get in touch today.

Talk To Our Specialist Team

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide today. If you would now like to talk to us about claiming, you can:

Our claims line is available 24-hours a day so you can claim whenever it is most convenient.

Data Breach Claim Resources

Now that you have almost completed this guide about claiming for the harm caused by a data breach, we are going to move on and supply links to some external resources which you may find useful. If there is anything further that we can help with, please feel free to contact our team.

ICO Complaints – Information on what type of complaints you can make to the ICO for different types of data protection issues.

Mental Health Charities – In this article, the NHS has provided a list of support organisations who could help if you’re suffering from anxiety, depression and similar issues.

Data Protection Rights – A government article that explains your rights in relation to data protection.

Finally, to show you how else Legal Expert could support you in the future, we have linked to some more of our guides.

Brain Injury Claims – An explanation about when compensation may be claimed following a brain injury.

Supermarket Accident Claims – Advice on how a solicitor could help you make a personal injury claim following an accident in a supermarket.

Workplace Stress Compensation – Details on why you might be eligible to claim for suffering caused by workplace stress.

Retail Data Breach Statistics

While there is only one H&M GDPR data breach listed on the ICO’s website, there are also others involving retail organisations. Therefore, we’ve added the graph below which shows data relating to the causes of cybersecurity breaches.

Retail data breaches graph

Retail Data Breaches graph

The data relates to the period 1st July 2020 to 30th September 2020 and is taken from this ICO spreadsheet.

Employee Data Breach FAQs

In this part of our guide, we are going to look at some common questions related to data breaches.

What are my rights if my data has been breached?

If you are the victim of a data breach, you have the right to ask the ICO to investigate the matter. Additionally, if you have suffered psychologically or lost money as a result of the breach, then you might have the right to be compensated.

What happens if an employee breaches GDPR?

If an employee is found to have caused a data breach, they may be disciplined by their employer. If the Information Commissioner’s Office determines that the employer was responsible for the breach because of a lack of security measures, then they could issue the company with a fine.

Other Useful Guides

Thank you for reading our guide to H&M data breach claims.


Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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