Immigration Information Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

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Immigration Information Data Breach – Can I Claim?

An immigration information data breach can involve a violation of your data protection rights. If an organisation failed to adhere to data protection law and your personal data was compromised as a result, you might suffer psychological harm such as stress or monetary losses. In this guide, we explain when you could make a compensation claim.

Immigration information data breach

Immigration information data breach claims guide

Legislation is in place to govern data protection. This legislation holds data controllers and data processors responsible for protecting personal data. A data controller is usually an organisation, that determines the reason behind processing your personal information. A data controller may process the information themselves or outsource this to a data processor who acts on behalf of the controller.

Your employer, for example, may hold information about your immigration status as proof to show your eligibility to work in the UK. If their failings cause your personal data to be compromised, you might have grounds to claim. However, you must prove that the data breach caused emotional distress or financial loss.

For more information, please get in touch with our team. You can:

  • Call on 0800 073 8804
  • Use our claim online form to get in touch
  • Direct a question at an advisor via the live support feature below.

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What Is An Immigration Information Data Breach?

A data breach is a security incident that can lead to your personal data being compromised. This can include an unauthorised party accessing or disclosing your personal data as well as your personal data being lost, destroyed or altered.

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) set out a data controller and data processors responsibility to protect your personal data.

If they fail to adhere to data protection laws, it could result in your personal information being affected. Please continue reading to find out what personal information is protected under data protection law.

What Information Could Be Breached?

If an immigration information data breach occurred, your personal data could be compromised. Personal data is information that can be used to identify you. It includes information such as your name, date of birth, address and email address. Any of these pieces of personal information may be included in your immigration records.

Additionally, there is a type of personal data that requires more protection under the UK GDPR due it’s sensitive nature. This is known as special category data.

Your immigration records might include special category data such as information relating to your race or ethnic background, political beliefs, religious or philosophical beliefs, medical conditions or details about your sex life or sexual orientation.

Talk to our data breach team to discuss what steps you could take if your personal data was affected in a personal data breach.

How Could An Immigration Data Breach Happen?

In recent years, there have been several high profiles instances of immigration information data breaches.

In 2019 a personal data breach by the Home Office occurred leading to 240 EU citizens having their details accidentally shared. The breach involved the failure to use blind carbon copy (BCC) when sending out a mass email.

BCC conceals email addresses when sending a mass email. When using the BCC column other email recipients cannot see the email addresses of anyone else included in the email. Due to the failure to use the BCC in this instance, the email addresses of recipients were exposed to other recipients of the email.


Personal Data Breaches

There are various ways an immigration information data breach could occur, including:

  • Your employer sends immigration information to the wrong email address. Therefore, disclosing personal data to an unauthorised person.
  • A receptionist leaves a file about your immigration status on a public-facing desk. Therefore, the public has access to sensitive information.
  • An organisation fails to keep their cyber security systems up to date leaving them more susceptible to a cyber attack. As a result, your personal information is stolen in a ransomware attack.

To claim the compensation, you will need to prove that the organisation failed to properly comply with data protection law. This could mean not training staff in data protection resulting in a human error, or failing to have updated cybersecurity systems in place to prevent cybercriminals gaining access.

You will also need to prove that you experienced financial losses, emotional distress or other mental health problems because of the breach of your personal data.

Free legal advice is available from our data breach claims team if your personal data was compromised.

Report A Breach Of Your Data Protection

An organisation should report a data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if it meets the relevant criteria for reporting within 72 hours. The ICO is a public body that is responsible for enforcing data protection laws and upholding the rights and freedoms of data subjects. Furthermore, the ICO has the power to investigate and fine organisations that breach data protection law.

An organisation should notify you if a personal data breach has occurred and risks your rights and freedoms. However, if you suspect your data has been compromised, you can contact the organisation directly.

If the organisation does not appear to take your complaint seriously enough, you can complain to the ICO. They may investigate your complaint.

Our data breach claims team can help you with your next steps following an immigration information data breach.

Examples Of Data Breach Claim Payouts

You may wonder how much compensation you can receive for an immigration information data breach. If your claim succeeds, you could receive a settlement that comprises compensation for material damage and non-material damage.

Firstly, the material damage head of claim compensates you for the money you lost because of the personal data breach. To recover lost monetary losses, you must be able to prove what you lost. This could be done through bank statements, for example.

Secondly, the non-material damage head of claim compensates you for the psychiatric injury the personal data breach has caused.

The compensation amounts in the table below are based on 16th edition guidelines from the Judicial College. Legal professionals, including data breach solicitors, use the guidelines to assign value to the non-material damage head of claim. The guidelines were updated in 2022. However, your compensation may vary because every data breach claim is different.

Impact On Mental Health Notes JC Guidelines
Psychiatric harm (a) Severe – Daily activities and relationships cannot be coped with due to the symptoms. £54,830 – £115,730
Psychiatric harm (b) Moderately Severe – Impacts on mental health making daily activities harder but with a more optimistic prognosis than in more severe cases. £19,070 – £54,830
Psychiatric harm (c) Moderate – There has been a significant improvement of symptoms causing difficulty coping with various aspects of life. £5,860 – £19,070
Psychiatric harm (d) Less Severe – How much is awarded depends on how long symptoms lasted and if things such as sleep were affected. £1,540 – £5,860
Anxiety Disorder (a) Severe – The ability to function at pre-trauma levels is affected. All areas of life are impacted by symptoms. £59,860 – £100,670
Anxiety Disorder (b) Moderately Severe – Whilst this person has a more optimistic outlook the effects could still leave them with significant disabilities into the future. £23,150 – £59,860
Anxiety Disorder (c) Moderate – It is likely the person could recover to a good level but may experience minor symptoms. £8,180 – £23,150
Anxiety Disorder (d) Less Severe – The person should have mostly recovered and have only minor symptoms persisting over a longer period of time. £3,950 – £8,180

Please contact us today to speak with an advisor for more advice about how much you could receive after a successful claim.

Start Your No Win No Fee Immigration Information Data Breach Claim

Please reach out to us today to see if you can claim compensation for an immigration information data breach. An advisor can assess your case and if it’s valid we can provide a lawyer to handle your claim. What’s more, the lawyer can offer you a type of No Win No Fee service called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

You don’t pay a fee for the services your solicitor provides if your claim fails under a CFA. You will pay a success fee if your claim succeeds. The success fee is deductible from your compensation payout at a legally capped rate.

To learn more, please use the details below to contact us.

  • Telephone: You can call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Online form: You can use our claim online form to make an enquiry
  • Live support: You can enter your question into the live support feature below.

Find Out More About Immigration Data Breach Claims

Please read below to learn more about making a data breach claim.

Thank you for reading our guide on making an immigration information data breach claim. If you have any other questions, please get in touch on the number above.

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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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