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Microsoft Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

By Mark Armstrong. Last Updated 20th March 2024. Welcome to our data breach lawyer guide. Have you ever wondered how much of your personal data is collected and processed by Microsoft when they provide you with the likes of e-mail services, cloud-based applications and other apps? In order to provide you with such services, Microsoft may need to collect personal data, such as your name, e-mail address, credit card details and more. But what happens if there is a Microsoft data breach, and your personal information is exposed? How could it affect you, and could you claim compensation for a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the organisation?

Microsoft data breach claims guideThis is what we explain in the guide below. At Legal Expert, we could help data breach victims get compensation for the financial and mental harm caused by a data breach.

We have designed this guide to give useful information to those who may have had their data breached but are unsure as to whether they can make a claim, or how to go about it.

The sections below describe how a data breach could happen, what you could do about it, and how we could help. If you have any questions about claiming or are ready to begin a claim, you can reach our team by calling 0800 073 8804.

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A Guide To Data Protection Breach Claims Against Microsoft

If you’ve asked ‘Has Microsoft been hacked in 2021?’ you might be wondering this because you have an e-mail account with Microsoft, and are aware that they have access to your personal data. Or, you might have received a Microsoft breach notification and are worried about what this means for your data.

Microsoft, just like other organisations that store and process data is legally required to protect it. If they fail to do so, and your personal data is breached, this could have some unwelcome consequences.

A Microsoft data breach could lead to your financial information being exposed, which could put you at risk of theft or identity fraud. However, it could also affect you psychologically, such as causing stress, anxiety or depression.

If you can prove that Microsoft has breached GDPR or the Data Protection Act 2018 by exposing your personal data, you could be eligible to claim compensation. We have created this guide to help you.

In the various sections below, we include lots of useful information to help you identify whether you have the justification to make a Microsoft data breach claim. We explain what type of compensation you could be eligible for, as well as describing examples of data breaches that have affected Microsoft previously. In addition to this, we show you how we could help you claim the compensation you deserve with help from a Legal Expert data breach lawyer.

What Is A Microsoft Data Breach?

If you’re wondering has there been a Microsoft breach of my personal data, we should first answer the questions ‘what is personal data?’ and ‘what is a breach of personal data?’.

What Is Personal Data?

Personal data is information that could be used to identify you, whether on its own or when it is combined with other information. There are various pieces of information that could be classed as personal data, such as:

  • Your name
  • Contact details
  • Address
  • IP address
  • E-mail address

These are just a few examples. Others could include financial details and those relating to your characteristics, such as age, gender and race.

What Qualifies As A Data Breach?

The ICO describes a personal data breach as a data security incident that leads to:

  • A loss of availability of the data in question
  • The unauthorised disclosure, transmission, alteration, processing, storage of or access to data
  • Theft of data

How Could A Microsoft Data Breach In 2021 Happen?

Cyberattacks and threats could evolve over time, and there are a variety of new threats to data security emerging all the time. However, not all data breaches occur due to malicious acts. Data breaches could be caused by:

  • Loss of computer equipment that contains personal data
  • A cyberattack
  • A mistake by a member of staff sending an email to the wrong address
  • A failure to update cybersecurity systems to prevent flaws from being exploited by hackers
  • Negligence in responding to new threats

If you’ve been affected financially or mentally by a Microsoft data breach, we could help you get the compensation you deserve. We’d be happy to offer you a free case assessment over the phone.

Does The GDPR Apply To Large Email Servers?

GDPR applies to all organisations that control, store and process personal data relating to citizens of the European Union. As the most wide-reaching, strictest data protection law in the world, it requires all data controllers and processors to ensure they handle data in accordance with the 7 principles below:

  • Storage limitation
  • Purpose limitation
  • Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
  • Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  • Data minimisation
  • Accuracy
  • Accountability

If a Microsoft data breach occurs because the organisation has failed to adhere to GDPR, they could face hefty fines. If you have evidence that shows you’ve been the victim of a Microsoft data breach in 2021 or prior, we could also help you claim compensation for non-material and material harm you experience because of the breach.

What Happened In The Microsoft Data Breach?

If you’re wondering has there been a Microsoft breach of data, well, according to media reports, there has. Reports suggest that an investigation by a firm called Comparitech uncovered details of customer service and support logs that contained the personal data of around 250 million customers.

While much of the identifiable personal data was said to have been redacted, researchers revealed that plain text data that may have been accessed could include:

  • IP addresses
  • Geographical locations
  • E-mail addresses
  • Description of cases
  • Case numbers and resolutions

The insecurity of such records could be a prime target for a hacker or someone looking to use such data for nefarious purposes.


Another report revealed that over 3,000 UK servers may have been at risk from a global Microsoft Exchange email flaw leading to many an email server being unsecured.

A hacking group initially exploited the flaw, gaining remote access to more than one unsecured email server. They used this platform to steal sensitive data. Microsoft identified the issue and provided an update to correct the flaw.

However, not all companies may be aware of the flaw, or the fix. It was reported that other hacking groups were able to use the flaw to launch cyberattacks, such as those involving ransomware, spyware and other types of cyber attack.


If you can prove that you’ve been affected by a Microsoft data breach, why not call our team to see if you could be eligible to claim compensation?

How Email Server Operators Can Suffer Data Breaches

There are various ways in which an e-mail server operator could suffer a data breach. Examples could include:

  • Leaving data unsecured in cloud-storage systems
  • Not updating software to fix any flaws that could lead to a security breach of customer support information
  • A hack or cyber-attack – if hackers breach Microsoft systems, using a bot, for example, this could lead to data being stolen or accessed without authorisation
  • Sending personal data to the wrong recipient
  • Not installing proper cybersecurity protection, such as a firewall

Could I Report An International Company To The Information Commissioner?

According to the ICO, you should report your concerns directly to an organisation that you believe:

  • May have not kept your data secure
  • Is holding inaccurate information about you
  • Has disclosed your personal information without your authority
  • Is holding your data for too long or using it for purposes you have not authorised

If, however, the organisation doesn’t take your report seriously and doesn’t work with you to resolve your complaint, you could report it to the ICO. The ICO does not usually investigate concerns if there is an undue delay in bringing a matter to its attention. Therefore, you should raise any concerns with the ICO within 3 months of the last meaningful contact with the organisation that you believe breached your data.

If there have been more than 3 months since the last contact with the organisation, you could seek legal advice whether you have reported a Microsoft data breach to the ICO or not.

How Much Compensation Do You Get For A Breach Of Privacy?

Every Microsoft data breach case would be assessed on its own specific details. Lawyers and courts would need to assess how the breach has affected you financially and otherwise. There are different damages that could be appropriate for a Microsoft data breach claim, including:

Material Damages

Compensation for material damages could include financial costs and losses as a result of someone gaining access to your bank account, or making fraudulent purchases in your name, for example.

Non-Material Damages

These could be more difficult to quantify. They relate to the emotional/psychological harm a data breach has caused. Previously, financial damage was necessary in order to recover compensation for the likes of distress and anxiety. This changed in 2015 following the Court of Appeal case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015].

During the case, the Court decided that compensation could be sought for psychological damage in the absence of financial harm. And they advised that compensation payouts for the former should be made with consideration to personal injury law. This means that you could be eligible for compensation if you suffer anxiety, stress and distress because of a breach of your personal data. Please speak to one of our data breach lawyers for further information.

Data Breach Compensation Calculator

When calculating compensation for a breach of data protection, lawyers and courts would look at all the evidence. One important piece of evidence in cases involving psychological harm is the medical report.

If you are intending on including psychological damage within a Microsoft data breach claim, you’ll need to undergo an assessment with an independent medic. They would produce a written report detailing the level of psychological harm you’ve suffered, as well as the estimated length of time it’ll take for you to recover.

Courts and solicitors could use this report along with a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines, to work out how much compensation could be appropriate. We have provided details of the Judicial College Guidelines compensation brackets for such injuries below. This could give you some rough insight into how much compensation could be appropriate.

Type of injury Guideline Compensation Severity
General Psychological Injuries Up to £5,500 Less severe
Post-traumatic stress disorders Up to £7,680 Less severe
General Psychological Injuries £5,500 to £17,900 Moderate
Post-traumatic stress disorders £7,680 to £21,730 Moderate
General Psychological Injuries £17,900 to £51,460 Moderately severe
Post-traumatic stress disorders £21,730 to £56,180 Moderately severe
Post-traumatic stress disorders £56,180 to £94,470 Severe
General Psychological Injuries £51,460 to £108,620 Severe

For a more precise estimate, please get in touch with our team of data breach advisers.

How To Claim Compensation For A Data Breach By An International Company

If you want to report a breach of GDPR compliance, you could do so by approaching the company itself. The ICO advises you to do this before reporting such a breach to them. They advise that you should include details of how you were affected by the Microsoft data breach.

You should include details of how you became aware of the breach. For example, you should tell them if you have been sent a Microsoft data breach notification, or you learned you were affected by the Microsoft data breach in December 2020, for instance. You should ask them to investigate your data breach report and respond within a reasonable timescale.

What Happens If I’m Unhappy With The Response To My Microsoft Data Breach Report?

If the organisation doesn’t respond within a reasonable timescale, or they do not respond to your satisfaction, you could make a complaint to the ICO. It would be wise not to delay reporting your concerns to the ICO, however. Undue delays in notifying the ICO of a breach could result in them refusing to investigate.

Whether you’ve reported a breach to the ICO or not, you could still seek legal advice and make a claim. If three months have passed by since any meaningful contact with the organisation, you are within your rights to seek legal advice. We could help you with this.

When Could A Solicitor Help You?

Now we’ve covered some of the common questions surrounding the Microsoft data breach in December 2020 and other Microsoft data breaches, you might want to get started with a claim for a breach of data protection.

If so, you could begin such a claim on your own. However, you might prefer to get a data breach lawyer to help you, and there could be several benefits to doing so, including the following:

  • Data breach solicitors could take the stress of putting all the documentation together and filing it at the appropriate time.
  • A data breach lawyer could help to negotiate compensation under the GDPR on your behalf. They could ensure you do not miss out on any of the compensation you could be eligible for.
  • If your case goes to court, data breach lawyers could support you in order for you to get the compensation you deserve.

Finding The Right Lawyer

It may surprise you to learn that you wouldn’t have to use a local lawyer to make a Microsoft data breach claim. You could use any data breach lawyer in the UK to fight for compensation on your behalf. But with so many lawyers and law firms available to choose from, how do you find the right one?

Here at Legal Expert, we believe we could be a great choice to help you with a claim for a Microsoft Outlook data breach or any other data breach claim. This is because:

  • We have years of knowledge and experience in the claims sector
  • Our solicitors all work under No Win No Fee terms
  • We have excellent customer service
  • Our lawyers have achieved compensation payouts for many claimants for many different types of claims
  • Our reviews are excellent and attest to our dedication to providing a quality service – you can read them here

Why not give us a call for a free, no-obligation case check. We’d be happy to chat with you about how we could help you.

No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For A Microsoft Data Breach

Whether you’ve had a Microsoft data breach notification from the organisation, or you’ve made a Microsoft data breach report yourself, if you’re planning on making a claim, you might prefer to have a qualified solicitor on your side.

But how do you go about paying a solicitor? Is there a way of deferring the payment of legal fees until the end of your claim? Thankfully there is.

With No Win No Fee claims, you could use the services of a data breach lawyer without paying them a penny upfront and nothing if you lose.

The No Win No Fee Claims Process

  • At the start of your claim, you will receive a No Win No Fee Agreement from your data breach lawyer. This is a document that provides details of the small, legally capped success fee you’d pay your lawyer if they win the case. The lawyer would deduct this payment from your compensation payout at the end of the claim. It is usually a percentage of your total payout.
  • Once you’ve signed and sent back your agreement, your solicitor would begin working on your case. Once they’d negotiated compensation for you, they would deduct their success fee from your payout. You would benefit from the rest.

Should your claim be unsuccessful, and you aren’t given any compensation, you don’t pay the success fee we mentioned, nor any of your lawyer’s fees. In unsuccessful cases, claimants don’t have to cover their solicitor’s costs either. Our No Win No Fee claims guide explains more about this process. If you have any questions, we’d also be happy to answer them over the phone.

Talk To Our Specialists

Whether you’re ready to start a claim for a Microsoft Cloud data breach, or you have evidence that a Microsoft Azure data breach has caused you suffering, we could help. Our expert advisors would be happy to assess your case and provide free, no-obligation advice. We could also provide you with a data breach lawyer to help you launch A No Win No Fee claim. To reach the Legal Expert team, simply:

More Information On Data Breaches

ICO Guide On Compensation For Data Breaches – This guide offers some insight into your rights to take a case to court to enforce your data protection rights.

Data Protection & IPsec– The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) provides guidance on using IPsec to establish a virtual private network (VPN) in order to protect data.

NCSC Information For Large Organisations – Within the guidance is the latest news on cyber-security threats including virus information, rootkit information, and other ways in which a hacker could exploit weaknesses in systems.

Stress Caused By Data Breaches – This guide explains more about how to claim for the stress and psychological harm caused by a Microsoft data breach.

Claiming Compensation For Someone Else – If you’re wondering could you get compensation for a GDPR data breach for someone else, this guidance could be useful.

General Guidance On Compensation Payouts – You can find more information about how to calculate compensation payouts here.

Rates Of Data Breaches

If you’re wondering how many data breaches there were in 2020, the Information Commissioner’s Office has released data relating to the number of breach reports by industry. It reveals that:

In online technology and communications, there were 52 reports of breaches in the second quarter of the year. These included:

  • 8 reports of unauthorised access relating to cybersecurity incidents
  • 7 reports of phishing attacks
  • 2 incidents of malware
  • 3 incidents of data e-mailed to the wrong recipient
  • 2 incidents of the wrong client data shown in an online portal

Data Breach FAQs

Why Do I Need To Report A Data Breach?

As a data subject, it might be wise for you to report a data breach so that an organisation can investigate it and see if others have been affected. It could also help the organisation to secure its systems more effectively to avoid future breaches. As an organisation, you should report a data breach by law if it could have consequences to the rights and freedoms of individuals. You should also record any breaches in your records.

What is the latest Microsoft data breach?

This happened very recently on August 23 2021.

What happened?

This was a failure of some of Microsoft’s Power Apps.

So, how did this occur?

The default configurations of these apps were not strong enough.

And what was the result?

The data from these apps would be leaked.

How many people has this affected?

The data of as many as 38 million people could be online due to this breach.

Who else has this particular breach affected?

It has impacted global organisations such as American Airlines, J.B. Government and various local American governments.

Has this been resolved?

The breach has now been reported, though the true impact is yet to be discovered.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Thank you for reading our guide to Microsoft data breach claims. But please get in touch if you want to know more about working with a data breach lawyer.

Guide by Jeffries

Edited by Billing

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      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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