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My Personal Information Was Shared On A Company Email – Can I Make A Data Breach Claim?

Has a company email data breach compromised your personal information? If you have sustained harm then you may be eligible to make a claim. This article will help define a company email data breach as well as personal data breaches. We will also explain what data breach compensation you may be eligible to receive.

Company email data breach claims guide

Company email data breach claims guide

A personal data breach can cause both physical and mental suffering. From financial losses and identity fraud to the general mental and emotional harm you could sustain, you may have grounds to make a claim.

Our advisors are available 24/7 to answer any of your questions and can help you determine if your claim is valid. If this is the case, our advisors may pass you through to our data breach solicitors and they can help you begin the process. Get in touch today by:

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Company Email Data Breach?
  2. When Could Information Shared On A Company Email Be A Data Breach?
  3. What Personal Information Could Be Shared On A Company Email?
  4. How To Claim For A Company Email Data Breach
  5. Company Email Data Breach Compensation Calculator
  6. Start A Company Email Data Breach Claim

>What Is A Company Email Data Breach?

Data breaches can be a complex area of the law and it can help to understand the meanings behind the words.

A personal data breach describes a security incident which compromised your personal information meaning it has been altered, disclosed, lost, destroyed or accessed without authority through accidental or deliberate actions. This can be cyber related or by human error.

Data controllers are organisations that decide why and how your personal or sensitive information will be processed. Data controllers may choose to outsource to a processor who can process data on a controller’s behalf.

Successful company data breach claims will mean proving that your personal or sensitive data has been breached. You will need to show why you hold the company responsible for the breach i.e. did they fail to train staff on how to protect and secure the information you provided? Finally, you will need to demonstrate how you have suffered because of this data security incident.

To learn more about what personal information could be accessed via a personal data breach as well as how it can be misused, contact our advisors today.

Email Data Breach Statistics

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) documented in their data security incident trends 2019/22 that there were 28,369 data security incidents reported, accounting for 21,286 non-cyber and 7083 cyber-related.

The highest reported security incident includes data emailed to the incorrect recipient with 4,138 reported and steadily increasing from 351 in Q1 of 2019/20 to 419 in Q3 of 2020/21. See the below graph showing emails sent to incorrect recipients according to work sectors:

company email data breach statistics graph

When Could Information Shared On A Company Email Be A Data Breach?

In this country, we have stringent data protection laws. The UK General Data Protection Regulation UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 both dictate how personal information should be protected. It is when these laws are not adhered to that personal information processed by a data controller could be involved in a data breach they could be held liable for.

For example, if the accountancy department at the company you work for shares your personal financial information by sending your payslip to the incorrect address they could be liable for the breach.

The personal data breach compensation you could receive in a successful claim will be made up of two types of damages. You may be able to make a claim for any mental or financial harm you suffer as a result of this breach.

If a blind carbon copy (BCC) is not used to anonymise the recipients of an email, their email addresses could be used to identify them. This can be an example of how human error can lead to a personal data breach.

Contact our advisors for a better understanding of what information could be shared as part of a company email data breach and what rights you may have after a breach.

>What Personal Information Could Be Shared On A Company Email?

We will first explain what constitutes personal information as it can make it easier to understand what information is protected by data security laws in this country.

The ICO classifies personal data as information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual. Some examples of information can include:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Financial information
  • Political affiliations
  • Telephone number
  • Home address

Contact our advisors today for advice on what other personal information can be part of a personal data breach.

>How To Claim For A Company Email Data Breach

All data controllers and processors are subject to the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR UK) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). These are two pieces of legislation that run alongside each other to ensure the protection of your personal data. Under these pieces of legislation the company in control of your personal information must be:

  • Lawful, fair and transparent.
  • Limit the purpose.
  • Only collect data that is necessary.
  • Be accurate.
  • Only keep it for as long as necessary.
  • Be confidential (security)
  • Accountability.

If a company fails to ensure the protection of your personal data and you suffer harm as a result, you may be able to make a claim. Contact our advisors today for free advice on how to report a data breach incident.

>Company Email Data Breach Compensation Calculator

Compensation for data breaches can break down into two categories, which include:

  • Material damages – These cover the tangible damages you have suffered due to a data breach, for example, if your financial information was stolen this could result in financial theft or impersonating your identity which can result in taking out loans, negatively impacting your credit score.
  • Non-material damages – These cover the mental effects of the data breach incident. Violating your privacy can cause stress, depression, anxiety and other psychological distress.

Following the case of Vidal-Hall v Google, you can now claim for psychological harm alone without suffering financial damages. As part of claiming for non-material damages, The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) publishes potential compensation brackets for injuries to your mental health. The following table shows possible compensation for injuries listed according to type and severity of injury:

InjuryCompensationNotes
Severe mental damage generally (a)£51,460 to £108,620Marked problems with the ability to cope with life, education and work. Impacted relationships with family, friends and close contacts. Award affected by the extent of treatment, future vulnerability, prognosis, and whether medical help was needed. The fact of abuse of trust is relevant to the award.
Moderately severe mental damage generally (b)£17,900 to £51,460More optimistic prognosis with the same factors noted above.
Moderate mental damage generally (c)£5,500 to £17,900A marked improvement. Work-related stress may fall under this bracket.
Less severe mental damage generally (d)£1,440 to £5,500Award depends on the disability period and how much daily activity and sleep were affected.
Severe PTSD (a)£56,180 to £94,470Permanent effects preventing working at all or to pre-trauma level. All aspects of life are negatively impacted.
Moderately severe PTSD (b)£21,730 to £56,180Better prognosis of some recovery with professional help. Effects are still likely to cause notable disability for the foreseeable future.
Moderate PTSD (c)£7,680 to £21,730Largely recovered and any persisting effects are not grossly disabling.
Less severe PTSD (d)£3,710 to £7,680Virtual full recovery within one to two years with minor symptoms persisting longer.

Contact our advisors for a free estimation of what your personal data breach claim could be worth.

>Start A Company Email Data Breach Claim

If a company email data breach compromised your personal information and was caused by a failure to take the necessary steps to keep this data secure you could claim for the harm you suffered.

Our team of advisors can help to clarify personal data breach claims as well as determine if your claim is valid. If it is, they may pass it to our No Win No Fee data breach solicitors.

A No Win No Fee arrangement, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement CFA, is a means to hire the services of a solicitor without immediate costs and you will pay no fees to the solicitor in cases that do not have a successful outcome. You will only pay your lawyer if your claim succeeds and they will take a success fee, which is a small, legally-capped percentage of your compensation.

If you believe that you have grounds for a personal data breach claim, contact our advisors today by:

Your Rights To Data Privacy

If you would like more helpful information about data breaches, please see our other articles below:

My Data Has Been Breached, What Can I Do?

Religious Or Political Beliefs Were Exposed In A Data Breach – Can I Claim Compensation?

My Employer Exposed My Mental Health Information In A Data Breach – Can I Claim Compensation?

Or, refer to these informative links:

Understanding Secure Email

Email Marketing Guidelines From The ICO

Personal Data Breaches Guide By The ICO

Contact our advisors if you would like free legal advice on company email data breach claims.

Guide By Eaton

Edited By Melissa.

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