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Optician Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Optician Data Breach

My Optician Was Subject To A Data Breach, Could I Make A Claim?

Welcome to this optician data breach compensation guide. In this guide, we’ll try to show you whether you’re eligible to make an optician data breach claim. We’ll explain how breaches of legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or The Data Protection Act 2018 could mean you’re entitled to claim compensation for any harm that’s caused by a breach.

GDPR is something you’ve probably heard a lot about over recent years. It was introduced to provide you with more control over who can hold personal data about you, how it’s stored and when it can be shared.

Optician data breach claims guide

Optician data breach claims guide

One of the main rules of the GDPR is that you must grant permission to anybody who wants to collect personal data about you and that they must let you know how it will be used. Furthermore, they need to make sure they have good procedures in place to keep your data secure.

While most opticians will have systems and policies in place which keep your data safe, mistakes are possible and when they happen, a data breach could occur. If that’s the case, you might want to begin a compensation claim for any harm that’s resulted from the mistake.

Legal Expert can support anybody who wants to make a claim. We provide a no-obligation telephone consultation where we ascertain what’s happened. Our advisors then provide free advice about whether your claim has a reasonable chance of success. If it does, you’ll be connected to one of our specialist solicitors who’ll handle your claim for you. If they agree to proceed, your claim will be made on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you’re ready to begin a claim right away, please call us today on 0800 073 8804. Otherwise, you can find out more about claiming for data breaches by reading the rest of our guide.

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A Guide To Optician Data Breach Compensation Claims

While you might not realise it, you probably have a lot of GDPR interactions every day. For instance, when a website asks you to tick a box to approve the use of tracking cookies, they’re meeting their GDPR obligations by obtaining your permission to store personal data.

In other scenarios, the interactions might not be as obvious or intrusive, but they do occur. For instance, when you register with an optician, make an appointment with them or fill in a questionnaire, you might need to provide answers or tick checkboxes to say what you want to happen to your data.

The first box might be an agreement that your data can be stored. There may be others giving permission for the optician to share your data with other organisations. Importantly, once you’ve answered the questions, the optician is obliged to adhere to your requests and not use your data in any other way.

The purpose of this guide is to explain to you how an optician data breach might occur, why you might be entitled to receive compensation, and how much you might be paid. There is a 6-year time limit linked to GDPR claims (or a 1-year limit if your claim is about human rights breaches).

We’d suggest that starting your claim sooner would be better than waiting until the end of the limitation period because you’ll allow your solicitor enough time to review your case. It will also allow them to gather the supporting evidence to back up your claims. Also, you’ll find it a lot easier to discuss the effects of the data breach in the weeks or months after it happened rather than 3 or 4-years down the road.

Once you’ve completed this guide, please get in touch if you’d like to start a claim.

What Is A Data Breach Of An Optician?

Essentially, a data breach happens when personal data is accessed or disclosed in a way that you’ve not authorised. It could also happen when data is lost or destroyed.

The most worrying type of data breach is one which contains sensitive personal information and those details have been seen by people you didn’t authorise to see it. Whether the breach was caused by a deliberate act or a complete accident, you could go on to claim compensation for any harm caused.

When data breaches appear on the news, they’re often linked to network security or computer security issues such as when data is hacked by activists or criminals. However, you’re far more likely to be the victim of an optician data breach which has been caused by human error. For instance, if an optician sends an email or letter containing your details to another patient by mistake. Another scenario could be where your medical records are left somewhere in the optician’s shop and another customer is able to read information about you.

If you are made aware of an optician data breach that’s affected you, either because the optician tells you or through other sources, we could help you start a compensation claim. Please contact one of our advisors today and they’ll review your claim with you for free.

The GDPR And Opticians Medical Data Breaches

When we refer to personalised data, we mean any information that can be used to identify somebody directly or indirectly. The type of information this includes is names, addresses, location details, email information, gender or ethnicity. The idea behind GDPR is that you are in control of who can store that type of information and how they use it.

In addition, anybody who is a data processor (a role defined by the GDPR), is bound by several principles relating to data, including:

  • Any personal data that’s been collected should be kept up to date.
  • The data subject (you) should be told of a legitimate purpose behind the data processing.
  • Only the minimum amount of data required to meet the agreed objectives should be collected.
  • Data should only be held for the time agreed at the time of collection.
  • Processing of data should be confidential and secure. For instance, in some cases encryption of the data might be required.
  • The data controller (another GDPR role) must be able to demonstrate adherence to these principles.

If you think that your optician has failed to meet their obligations under GDPR, causing a data breach to happen, we might be able to help you seek compensation for any harm caused. If you’d like to discuss your options, our team can be contacted using the details at the top of the page.

How Opticians And Healthcare Companies Could Cause A Data Breach

The GDPR is a fairly new piece of legislation, but data protection has been around for many years. While long-serving members of staff may have more data protection knowledge than newer staff, they should all have been trained so that they can adhere to the new GDPR rules.

While data breaches involving exposed data might be caused by cybersecurity breaches involving head office computer systems, in optician’s shops a data breach is more likely to have been caused by mistakes made by a member of staff.

Here are some examples of ways in which an optician data breach could happen:

  • If your medical records are distributed to unauthorised organisations by mistake.
  • Where medical records or documentation containing your details are left in public view and read by another customer.
  • If an email, text message or letter with your information is sent to another customer.
  • Where the local computer network is affected by malware, viruses or ransomware.
  • If staff leave information about you on unlocked computer screens and it’s seen by other customers.
  • Where staff who have no medical reason to do so lookup your personal information.

There are some scenarios where a data breach will never come to light. However, in cases where the company operating the opticians becomes aware that a breach has occurred, they need to contact you and let you know when it happened and what data was obtained.

If you’ve found out about an optician data breach which has affected you, why not let Legal Expert start a claim on your behalf? Our advisors can assess your claim for free and provide free legal advice on how to proceed.

Examples Of Opticians And Healthcare Companies Fined By The ICO

Now it’s time to show a real-life example of a data breach involving a firm of opticians. In this case, Vision Direct has reported on its website (https://www.visiondirect.co.uk/customer-data-theft) that data was stolen from customers who logged into their website between 12.11 am on 3rd November 2018 and 12.52 pm on 8th November 2018.

Their website reports that customers who logged into their website during the period listed may have had financial and personal information stolen. The information that was potentially stolen included full names, email addresses, billing addresses, telephone numbers, passwords, card numbers, card expiry dates, and card CVV numbers.

The Vision Direct website report explained that while their existing database had not been hacked, and none of the data stored was accessed, anybody who entered information into the website during the timeframe provided was at risk of having their data compromised. They also report that the issue has now been resolved and their website is functioning as normal.

The article on their site doesn’t mention whether the issue was reported to the ICO or whether a fine was issued. However, customers who’ve suffered some form of harm as a result of the breach may be entitled to seek compensation. If you believe this data theft has affected you, and you’d like to begin a claim for the harm caused, please let us know and one of our advisors will review the claim for you.

Do I Need To Register A Complaint With The ICO?

As we’ve previously discussed, if you’re the victim of a data breach, you may be eligible to claim compensation. But how do you go about proving the data breach actually occurred or what data was accessed? Well, there are a couple of options.

Firstly, you might want to raise a formal complaint with the company who operates the optician’s practice.  They should respond and let you know what they’ve found out. Hopefully, their response will confirm what happened and what information was leaked.

However, if you’re not happy with the result of your complaint or if you receive no response, you could ask the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to take a look for you. They need to be informed about your complaint within 3-months of your last meaningful contact with the optician. In most cases, the ICO won’t consider cases that have taken a long time to reach them.

It’s important that we let you know that, while the ICO can fine a company for a data breach, and could provide a view on your claim in court, they can’t force a company to compensate you. The only way that will happen is if you begin your own claim against the company in question.

If you speak to one of our solicitor’s, they may suggest proceeding to make a claim without even lodging a complaint with the ICO. If there’s clear evidence of what happened and the harm it has caused you, the solicitor may be able to reach a settlement with the optician directly. In other cases, the more formal route might be used to help prove exactly what happened to your data.

If you’ve decided that it’s time to begin a claim against your optician because of a data breach, please contact Legal Expert today. Our advice is always free, even if you don’t end up claiming.

What You Damages Could Claim For After A Data Breach Or Leak

Now that we’ve explained why you could claim under the GDPR for a data breach that’s caused you harm, it’s time to consider what can be claimed for and how much compensation might be paid. When a claim is filed, you’ll generally look to claim for two things:

  • Material Damage. This would be claimed if you’ve suffered financial losses that have been caused by the data breach. One example of this could be if criminals obtained your data and used it in an identity theft crime.
  • Non-material Damage. This part of the claim would be made for any psychological injuries sustained as a result of the data breach.

Importantly, we know from experience that each claim is unique as every claimant suffers in different ways. Therefore, if your claim is taken on, a solicitor will review your claim thoroughly before deciding what you could be compensated for.

With regards to material damage, your solicitor will consider what financial losses you’ve suffered already and how you might be affected in the future. For instance, if a financial crime has been committed using your details, it could impact your credit file for many years to come.

For non-material damage, you’ll need to be medically assessed to review how distress, anxiety, worry and confusion has affected things like coping with everyday life, the ability to work, managing relationships with friends, family and colleagues, or continuing any education you were involved in.

As you can see, determining what can be claimed for is quite complex. It’s very important it is done correctly though because once a claim is settled, you can’t ask for more compensation later on after you’ve realised you forgot to include something in your claim. Therefore, please call today to find out if a solicitor can help you make a claim.

How Much Compensation Do You Get For A Breach Of Your Personal Data?

You’re probably wondering how much compensation will be paid for an optician data breach. Well, as in the previous section, determining a figure is not that easy until your case has been assessed thoroughly.

However, it has been established by the Court of Appeal (in the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015]) that you can seek compensation for a data breach even if you sustained no pecuniary losses. Therefore, the following table shows example compensation figures listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for some psychological injuries that could result from a data breach. The JCG is a document that barristers, courts and insurers use when trying to determine compensation amounts.

Type of SufferingSeriousnessCompensationDetails
Psychiatric DamageModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460The compensation awarded in this bracket could be paid where the victim had problems dealing with work, life or education and struggled to maintain or manage relationships. Future vulnerability may be an issue but the overall prognosis will be optimistic.
Psychiatric Damage Severe£51,460 to £108,620The compensation awarded in this bracket could be paid where overall prognosis is poor and the victim has marked problems maintaining relationships. The victim will also have future vulnerability and will have problems with life, education or work.
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerate£7,680 to £21,730The compensation awarded in this bracket could be paid where the victim has mostly recovered. Any symptoms which continue won't be grossly disabling.
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerately Severe£21,730 to £56,180The compensation awarded in this bracket could be paid where the effects of the PTSD will probably cause significant disability for the victim in the foreseeable future. However, with professional support, the symptoms should improve over time.
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevere£56,180 to £94,470The compensation awarded in this bracket could be paid where all aspects of the victims life have been badly affected. The permanent effects will mean the victim has no chance of working or functioning anywhere near pre-trauma levels

To prove the extent of your injuries (which is an important factor used to decide compensation levels), your solicitor will arrange a local medical assessment for you. At the appointment, you’ll be asked questions by a medical specialist about the impact of the data breach. Then they’ll prepare a report containing their findings to your solicitor.

No Win No Fee Optician Data Breach Clams

So, now that you’ve read this guide, what’s stopping you from starting a data breach claim today? We know that many people worry about the costs of hiring a solicitor to give them access to justice. Well, to alleviate that worry, our team of solicitors will work on a No Win No Fee basis if they agree to take your claim on.

Before agreeing to do so, they’ll review your case with you to check it is viable. Once you’re both ready to begin, you’ll be given a contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. The CFA is the method used to fund your claim and means that:

  • You won’t have to make any kind of upfront payment.
  • You’ll not be asked to pay any solicitor’s fees while the claim progresses.
  • Should the claim be unsuccessful, you won’t have to cover any of your solicitor’s fees at all.

The CFA will explain that a success fee (a small percentage of your compensation) will be charged in the event your solicitor wins the case. To ensure there are no surprises, your success fee percentage, which is capped legally, will be listed in the CFA.

If you’d like to check whether your claim is eligible for our No Win No Fee service, please reach out to an advisor today.

Finding A Lawyer Who Handles Data Privacy Breach Claims

So, how do you find a solicitor to take on your data breach claim? Do you look for local law firms, ask friends for recommendations or read online reviews? Or do you simply call Legal Expert today and discuss your claim with a friendly advisor?

We provide free legal advice and could save you all of the hassle of searching by connecting you to one of our experienced solicitors. Our team has decades of experience handling different types of claims, so why not contact us today?

Contact A Data Breach Solicitor

If you would like Legal Expert to support your claim, you can get in touch by:

Extra Resources

Thanks for reading our guide about claiming for an optician data breach. To finish off, we’ve provided some additional resources that we hope you’ll find helpful:

The General Optical Council Complaints – This is where you can raise formal complaints about opticians.

ICO Complaints – This ICO website explains the different complaints you can lodge with them.

Optician Locator – An NHS website where you can find opticians in your area.

Professional Negligence Claims – Details on starting claims for professional advice that has caused you to suffer.

Optician Negligence Claims – Advice on starting a claim for injuries caused by the negligence of an optician.

Laser Eye Surgery Claims – Details on when you could claim for suffering caused by negligent eye surgery.

 

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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