Sexuality Data Breach Compensation Claims

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Sexuality Data Breach Compensation Claims

By Daniel Archer. Last Updated March 2024. This guide will explain how to make a personal data breach claim for a sexuality data breach. If an organisation breached personal data concerning your sexual orientation or sex life, you might feel that they violated your privacy. Moreover, the data breach may have caused problems in your personal life or made you vulnerable to discrimination.

Sexuality data breach

Sexuality data breach guide

Do you get compensation for a data breach?

If an organisation has breached your personal data, you may be eligible to claim compensation. You’d need to be able to show that you suffered financial loss or psychiatric injury because of the breach.

You’d also need to show that the organisation that was collecting, holding or processing your personal data caused the data breach through wrongful conduct. For example, they may have provided substandard cybersecurity, leading to a cyber attack in which your personal information was accessed.

If you have a favourable claim, Legal Expert can provide you with an experienced data breach solicitor. Our solicitors work hard to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. So, to see if you can begin your claim, contact us using the details below:

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Sexuality Data Breach?
  2. What Is Special Category Data?
  3. When Can Organisations Process Special Category Data?
  4. Can A Data Breach Be Verbal?
  5. Calculating Settlements For Sexuality Data Breaches
  6. Discuss How To Claim For A Data Breach

What Is A Sexuality Data Breach?

A sexuality data breach is a data breach that exposes sensitive information about a person’s sexual orientation or data concerning their sex life.

Personal data is information that identifies a person, such as your name or email address. Organisations sometimes collect personal data for operational or commercial purposes.

A data breach is a security incident that causes the unlawful or accidental alteration, loss, disclosure, destruction of or access to personal data. For example, an employer data breach can happen if the employer shares an employee’s personal data without a lawful reason.

Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018, organisations should safeguard the personal data they collect. The organisation should invest in staff training and security measures to protect the data.

Please contact us today if you’re able to claim compensation for a data breach that exposed information about your sexuality.

What Is Special Category Data?

The UK GDPR considers data concerning one’s sexual orientation or sex life as special category data. Therefore, the data is sensitive and requires additional protection.

Examples of special category data include:

  • Data concerning sex life
  • Data concerning sexual orientation
  • Genetic data and biometric data (for ID purposes)
  • Data concerning one’s health

Is gender considered sensitive personal data under the UK GDPR?

Gender and gender identity aren’t considered sensitive data under the UK GDPR. However, if an organisation exposed personal information regarding your sex, gender or gender identity, you may still be eligible to claim compensation.

When Can Organisations Process Special Category Data?

The UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 recognise that special category data is sensitive. Therefore there are rules for processing special category data. For example, an organisation can only process special category data if there are any of the following exceptions:

  1. The person has given explicit consent
  2. Employment, social protection and  social security (if authorised by law)
  3. Vital interests (to protect someone’s life)
  4. Bodies that are not-for-profit
  5. Made public by the data subject
  6. Judicial acts or legal claims
  7. Reasons of substantial public interest (with a basis in law)
  8. Social care or health (with a basis in law)
  9. Public health (with a basis in law)
  10. Research, archiving and statistics (with a basis in law)

Can A Data Breach Be Verbal?

Generally, information being verbally shared without your consent is only considered to be a data breach if the information in question can be categorised as processed data. This means if your sexuality has been officially added to record somewhere, it is afforded the same protection as any other sensitive information.

However, it typically would not be considered a security breach if your sexuality was overheard by someone listening to a personal conversation you were having, and this person then spread this information.

If you have questions about breaches of the UK GDPR and whether your sexuality being shared is considered a breach, get in touch with our advisors today.

The ICO Fines Transgender Charity

In 2021 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined Mermaids (a transgender charity) for failing to keep the personal information of its users secure. The ICO is an independent body that enforces data protection laws.

The charity sent the ICO a data breach report. It found that an internal email group had insufficient security, causing around 780 pages of emails that were confidential to be viewable online for almost 3 years. 550 people’s personal data, including email addresses and names, was searchable online during this time. Some people’s sexual orientation was also exposed.

Calculating Settlements For Sexuality Data Breaches

If you claim compensation for a sexuality data breach, you can receive up to two heads of claim. Firstly you can receive material damages, compensating for any financial losses incurred by the data breach.

Secondly, you can receive non-material damages. Non-material damages compensate you for any psychological injuries you experienced. If data concerning your sexual orientation is publicly exposed, you may experience stress due to a data breach. Moreover, the trauma of having your privacy violated or experiencing subsequent discrimination may have caused psychiatric injuries. Injuries you could claim for include depression or anxiety.

Data Protection Breach Compensation – Calculating Compensation For A Data Protection Breach Of Sexuality

If your personal data has been compromised due to a breach of the UK GDPR, a claim could potentially be made. If your mental health has been impacted negatively due to a breach of privacy where your sexual orientation was wrongfully exposed, you may be able to claim for non-material damage as part of your data protection breach compensation.

The severity and impact of your psychological injury will determine the data protection breach compensation you might receive. Solicitors can also use compensation amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to assist them in valuing claims.

The compensation brackets in the table below are taken from the JCG and relate to non-material damages. The payout you might receive may not match the compensation amounts in the table below as material damage may also be addressed. Please reach out to our advisors for a personalised evaluation of your claim.

Severity Category Of Injury Damages About The Injury
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe £59,860 to £100,670 The person will have suffered a reactive psychiatric disorder which was diagnosed following a traumatic event.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe £23,150 to £59,860 Whilst the person will have problems for the foreseeable future, they do have a better prognosis than the category above.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate £8,180 to £23,150 An almost full recovery should be made and any lasting symptoms are not grossly disabling.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Less Severe £3,950 to £8,180 A full recovery should be made in one to two years.
Psychological Damage Severe £54,830 to £115,730 Damages could account for how much this person’s ability to cope with education, work, social life or relationships have been impacted.
Psychological Damage Moderately Severe £19,070 to £54,830 They have a better outlook than the person above, though all aspects of their life will also be affected.
Psychological Damage Moderate £5,860 to £19,070 A good level of recovery should have been made by the time of trial.
Psychological Damage Less Severe £1,540 to £5,860 Damages account for what symptoms you suffered as well as how serious these were.

Discuss How To Claim For A Data Breach

You may be able to use the services of a solicitor under a No Win No Fee agreement. A No Win No Fee claim means that you won’t pay a solicitor’s fee before the claim or while the claim is ongoing. Instead, you are charged a success fee if the claim wins.

What Are The Benefits Of No Win No Fee Claims?

  • The success fee is deducted from your data breach compensation payment only after it comes through. What’s more, it’s capped by law.
  • You only pay the success fee if you win your claim. Therefore you are taking on less risk with your finances when funding the services of a solicitor this way.

Please reach out to us today to see if you can begin your No Win No Fee claim for a sexuality data breach. An advisor will be happy to discuss whether or not you can claim compensation.

Get in touch:

  • Call our claims helpline on 0800 073 8804
  • Use our online claims form to start
  • Or ask us a question directly, using the chat widget

No Win No Fee Data Breach Resources

Please read the guides below if you wish to learn more about claiming compensation for a data breach.

Do Data Breach Protection Solicitors Offer No Win No Fee?

Social Services Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

Can I Get Compensation For The Loss of Medical Records?

Employer Personal Data Breach Compensation Claims

An ICO guide to claiming compensation for a data breach

A government guide to your data protection rights

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021

Thank you for reading our guide to sexuality data breaches.

Written by Chelache

Edited by Victorine

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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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