Stalker Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Stalker Data Breach
My Data Privacy Was Breached By A Stalker, Could I Claim Compensation?
Cyberstalking is something that should be taken very seriously, as it is a growing threat. If you’ve been the victim of a stalker online, this could cause you anxiety and stress. Not only that, but if your stalker has managed to get hold of your personal data that should have been protected by an organisation, this could cause financial damage too. A stalker data breach could be a frustrating and perhaps even frightening experience. But there is a way that you could be eligible to claim compensation for a GDPR data breach if it has harmed you emotionally or financially. Below, we explain how you could go about claiming compensation and how much you could claim.
We have created this guide to give you lots of useful information on suffering a data breach due to online stalking.
We explain the responsibilities that organisations have to protect information that they store or process from unauthorised access by people such as online stalkers.
In addition to this, we offer some advice on how you could protect yourself against a stalker and what you could do if you are a victim of cyberstalking.
We also explain how our team could help you claim compensation for a breach of data protection. If you would like to ask us anything about making a claim for data breach compensation, we’d be glad to help you. All you need to do is call our expert advisors on 0800 073 8804. You can also write to us
Select A Section
- A Guide To Stalker Data Breach Compensation Claims
- What Is A Stalker Data Breach?
- What Is Cyber Stalking?
- Types Of Online Abuse And Stalking
- How To Prevent Cyber-Stalking
- What Should You Do If You Are Being Stalked Online?
- Case Study – EE Data Breach Stalker
- Reporting A Stalker
- How Victims Of Stalker Data Breaches Could Be Compensated
- Calculating Compensation Awarded For A Stalker Data Breach
- How To Make A Data Breach Claim Against Someone Who Is Stalking You
- No Win No Fee Stalker Data Breach Compensation Claims
- Talk To Us About Making A Stalker Data Breach Claim
- Additional Claim Resources
- Harassment And Stalking Statistics
- FAQs On Stalker Data Breaches
If a stalker has managed to get hold of your personal data, this could lead to a number of unwanted consequences. Not only could you feel unhappy that your data has been exposed, but it could also lead to identity theft, fraud and even robbery.
However, if an organisation breaches GDPR compliance and exposes your data to a stalker, whether via a cyber-attack such as hacking, phishing attacks, malware or other methods, you could be eligible to claim stalker data breach compensation.
This is because organisations that hold, store and process your personal data have a legal duty to protect it. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018, they must ensure your data security and privacy. A breach of these laws could leave an organisation liable to pay you compensation for financial and mental harm, such as distress.
This guide shows you how to make such a claim. While we recognise that it may not be possible to erase an incident of cyberstalking for a victim, claiming compensation could enable them to take control of the situation. This could help them move forward after such an incident.
Before we explain what a stalker data breach is, we should initially confirm what is meant by personal data.
According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), personal data is any data that could be used alone, or in combination with other data to identify you. It could include your name, your contact details, ethnicity, date of birth and even your IP address or e-mail address, for example.
A stalker data breach is a violation of data protection that provides a stalker with personal information about their victim. If an organisation breaches your data privacy or security, and a stalker gains access to it, they could use that data to continue stalking you. They could also use it for a variety of nefarious purposes.
How Could An Organisation Breach My Personal Data To A Stalker?
An organisation could breach your data protection in a number of ways. The stalker could work for an organisation that holds your personal data, and they could access your information without authorisation through company computer systems, for example.
Or, they may persuade an employee of an organisation to provide your personal data without your consent.
Other ways in which a cyberstalker could obtain your personal data could include:
- Phishing attacks
- Hacking, which could allow them to breach data held in the cloud, on computers, or networks
- A bot
- A virus
- DDoS attacks
An organisation could also breach your personal data in an incident not related to cybersecurity. Data breaches could happen over the phone, in person, or by post, for example. If an organisation breaches your personal data, and you suffer financial or emotional harm as a result, you could claim compensation.
Cyberstalking is, according to the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research, cyberstalking is harassment that originates online and involves a person repeatedly inflicting unwanted intrusion.
It has also been recognised that cases of pre-existing offline stalking could transfer into an online environment.
Cyberstalking could include:
- Identity theft
- Posting falsified profiles
- Pretending to be the victim when attacking other people
- Discrediting the victim in an online community or in the workplace
- Sending direct threats
- Creating websites that target the victim
- Attacking the victim’s relatives
- Using the victim’s images
- Following a victim online
How Could Online Stalking Harm Someone?
Not only could a victim of online stalking suffer psychologically because of cyberstalking, but they could also suffer financially. If an organisation has breached the data privacy of a stalking victim, the organisation could be liable to pay GDPR data breach compensation to the victim. We reference an example of how this type of data breach could happen in a later section of this guide.
If you’re wondering whether you could claim compensation under the GDPR for a stalker data breach, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team could advise you on whether you have a valid claim. We could also provide you with a data breach solicitor to help you with your compensation claim.
There are a variety of different types of cyberstalking and online abuse that people could fall victim to. These could include:
- Cyberstalking – Where a stalker uses the internet to repeatedly and systematically intimidate, threaten or harass someone. This could be done via social networks, by e-mail or chat room, for example.
- Online impersonations – Where someone uses someone else’s name online without their consent, pretending to be that person. They could do this to harm, intimidate, harass, or defraud their victim/s.
- Catfishing – This is where someone creates a fictitious persona for a variety of purposes. Common on online dating platforms, this is not illegal, but it could lead to other cybercrimes if other serious issues stem from it, such as the transfer of money.
- Doxxing – This involves publishing someone’s personal information online, with the purpose of having others harass them. Information could include a person’s address, or contact information, for example.
- Trolling – This involves someone making controversial or random comments in online communities which are designed to provoke an emotional reaction.
- Revenge Porn – This involves the posting of private sexually explicit videos or images of a person online without their consent.
If you have been the victim of abuse and stalking as the result of a data breach by an organisation, you could call our team for advice on whether you could have a claim for stalker data breach compensation. We’d be happy to provide you with a data breach lawyer to assist with any claim you could have.
There are a variety of ways in which you could attempt to prevent a cyberstalker from gaining access to your personal data. These could include:
- Ensuring you have security settings enabled on your online accounts and devices used to access those accounts, such as two-factor authorisation.
- Installing anti-malware and antivirus software on your devices to ensure the detection and removal of any spyware. This could, if not detected, infiltrate your devices for some time before you become aware of it.
- Use encrypted password generators that help you frequently amend your passwords. These are stored on an app so that you do not have to remember the complex passwords they generate. This could make it very difficult for a cyberstalker to hack into your online accounts.
- Review all the privacy settings on your social media and networking accounts as well as your devices. You can then ensure you aren’t disclosing personal information such as your e-mail address, phone number, date of birth or location details inadvertently.
- Ensure you aren’t uploading photographs that could give away your activities or location, and disable geotagging.
- Keeping personal networking accounts private.
Preventing cyberstalking is something you can take charge of. However, you should remember that organisations that hold, store or process your personal information also have a responsibility to protect the privacy of that data. If they do not, and you experience a stalker data breach, you could claim compensation under the GDPR.
If you believe you are being stalked online, it would be wise to ensure you have changed all your passwords in order to block access from your online accounts. It would also be wise to make a subject access request to any organisation you believe may have breached your data to see what information they have on you.
You could also get a cybersecurity expert to take a digital sweep of your online accounts as well as your devices in order to look for security breaches or spyware. They should create a forensic record of this so that you have evidence.
It would be worth keeping any evidence you have of the stalking, such as messages, in a safe place. The Met Police advise that you screenshot any messages so that if they are deleted, you still have a record of them.
According to media reports, in 2018, a woman was stalked by her ex-partner, who worked at mobile operator EE. The victim was reported to have contacted EE due to her phone not working. EE advised the woman that her number had switched to a new handset. The new address registered on the system was that of her ex-partner. According to the woman, it appeared that her address and bank details were accessed by her ex-partner without her authorisation. She was unhappy with EE’s investigation into the matter and involved the police.
EE offered an apology to the woman, saying it had failed to adhere to its own policies. The company also stated that the perpetrator was no longer with the company.
If you feel you are being stalked online, the Met Police advise you to report it. You can do so by calling 101 or by reporting the stalking online. If you are being stalked via a social media platform, it may be worth reporting the stalking to the network itself too. In some cases, social networks may be able to act against a person who is contravening their rules.
You could also report a stalker data breach to the National Stalking Helpline. They could give you advice on obtaining an injunction against a cyberstalker and protecting yourself online.
If you are being stalked and believe your personal data has been breached, you could also report the stalking to the organisation you believe has breached your data. They should investigate your concerns and work with you to rectify the issue. If they do not, you could escalate your data breach report to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The types of compensation victims of a stalker data breach could receive would depend on the harm the breach caused them. If, for example, a stalker had gained access to financial accounts, or committed identity fraud in the victim’s name, you could claim compensation for the financial damage you suffer.
However, this is not the only type of compensation you could claim.
GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 allow victims of a data breach to claim for non-material damage too. This includes distress, anxiety and depression.
In a case heard in 2015, Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc , the subject of compensation awards in data breach claims for psychiatric/psychological damage arose. The Court of Appeal held that awards for mental damage could be considered, even in the absence of financial damage. Previously, financial damage was required in order to claim for psychological harm too.
This set a legal precedent that allows victims to claim for psychological harm such as anxiety, stress and loss of sleep if they suffer such injuries due to a data breach.
Calculating compensation for a stalker data breach involves assessing what damage the victim has experienced and assessing the financial value.
When it comes to financial damage, this could mean assessing bank statements to calculate the actual financial impact of the data breach. Credit scores can also be checked.
Calculating non-material damage is a little more complicated. Victims of psychological injuries would need to have a medical assessment so that an independent expert could produce a report detailing their injuries and prognosis. This evidence will be used to prove that your damage was caused by the data breach. In addition, it could be used alongside a publication, the Judicial College Guidelines, to arrive at an appropriate compensation amount.
Below, we have used figures from that publication to illustrate the guideline payout figures for such injuries.
|Condition/Injury||Guideline Payout Amounts||Remarks|
|Post-traumatic stress disorders||£56,180 to £94,470||Severe|
|General cases of psychological injury||£51,460 to £108,620||Severe|
|Post-traumatic stress disorders||£21,730 to £56,180||Moderately severe|
|General cases of psychological injury||£17,900 to £51,460||Moderately severe|
|Post-traumatic stress disorders||£7,680 to £21,730||Moderate|
|General cases of psychological injury||£5,500 to £17,900||Moderate|
|Post-traumatic stress disorders||£3,710 to £7,680||Less severe|
|General cases of psychological injury||£1,440 to £5,500||Less severe|
If you’d like a more precise estimate of the compensation you could be owed, please get in touch with our team of advisers using the number at the top of this page. Once we know more about your case we’ll be in a greater position to advise you.
If you’re looking to make a data breach claim, you could send a report to the organisation that has breached your personal data. You should include all the details of the incident and ask them to launch an internal investigation.
It would be worth including details of how the data breach has affected you. You could also ask for compensation at this point. If they don’t take your complaint seriously, you could ask the ICO to investigate.
Should you not have reported the incident to the ICO, this does not mean you can’t claim compensation. If the organisation that breached your data has not offered any meaningful response to your complaint and three months have passed, you could seek advice from a data breach lawyer, and launch a claim for compensation.
How We Could Help With A Stalker Data Breach Claim
Here at Legal Expert, we’d like to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our experienced and knowledgeable advisors could offer you a free case check to see if you could have a valid claim.
If we believe you could be eligible for compensation, we could provide you with a specialist data breach solicitor to fight for the compensation you deserve. We have a highly recommended service, as you can see from our solicitor reviews page, and all of our lawyers work under No Win No Fee terms.
If you’d like to make a stalker data breach claim without paying a data breach lawyer upfront, you might be pleased to learn that at Legal Expert, we could provide you with a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor. This way, you would not pay anything to your solicitor until your claim ends. Below, we outline how the process works:
- One of our solicitors would send you a Conditional Fee Agreement—the formal title for a No Win No Fee agreement. This includes details of a legally capped fee known as a success fee. The fee is usually a small percentage of your total settlement. It is only payable if your claim is successful. Your lawyer would ask you to read the document carefully, before signing and returning it. Once received, they’d be able to start work on your claim.
- They would set about building a case for compensation and negotiating a settlement on your behalf.
- Once your payout has come through, your lawyer would deduct their success fee, leaving the rest of the payout for your benefit. If your solicitor doesn’t arrange any compensation, you don’t pay the success fee and you don’t pay any of their costs either.
We have put together a guide to explain more about No Win No Fee claims. However, if you have questions, we’d also be happy to answer them over the phone.
To contact us about any aspect of making a stalker data breach claim, whether you’re ready to start a claim or have questions about your eligibility, simply:
- Call our advisors on 0800 073 8804
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use our contact form or Live Chat service to get in touch.
CPS Guidance On Stalking And Harassment – Find out what the Crown Prosecution say about stalking and harassment here.
Stalking Protection Orders – You can read more about stalking protection orders here.
Home Office Consultation On Stalking – This document discusses the powers that the courts have to prosecute stalkers and what avenues are open to victims.
NHS Data Breach– If the NHS has breached your data, this guide could be useful.
HR Data Breaches – Should an HR department breach your data, you might find this guide interesting.
Virgin Mobile Data Breach Claims – If a mobile operator has breached your data, this guide could be of use to you.
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, in the year ending March 2020, it was estimated that:
- 2,010 men were the victim of stalking
- 4,251 women were the victim of stalking
- Domestic stalking figures were highest, with 2,652 estimated victims, followed by stalking by a partner (2,317 estimated victims) and stalking by a family member (840 estimated victims)
Further Examples Of Harassment And Stalking
Further examples of harassment and stalking can be found on the Hertfordshire police website. They include:
- Unwanted romantic attention
- Violent predatory behaviours
- Sending unwanted gifts
- Monitoring someone’s use of the internet/e-mail
- Malicious or unwanted communication
What Can I Do About Harassment?
As well as protecting your online profiles as much as possible, you should ensure you keep records of any harassment you experience. You could document the incidents in a notebook and ensure you keep copies of any messages you receive. That way, when you report an incident of harassment, you have evidence that could help to secure an injunction or even a conviction.
Thank you for reading our guide on what to do if you suffer a stalker data breach.
Guide by Jeffries
Edited by Billing