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Stolen Computer Data Breach Claim

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated March 2024. What is a stolen computer data breach claim? If your personal data has been accessed or exposed because of a stolen computer then you may be eligible to pursue a case for compensation. When an organisation decides why and how your personal data should be processed they become known as a data controller. They then become responsible for keeping your data safe. Not all data is protected by data-protection laws though, only personal and sensitive information. For example, your employer may have information about you in their database. Therefore, your employer is responsible for safeguarding their database to protect your data privacy.

Stolen computer data breach compensation claims guide

Stolen computer data breach compensation claims guide

Unfortunately, a data breach can happen through deliberate actions of a cybercriminal for instance. Or through human error by accidental exposure or the loss of a device for example. Types of device loss data breaches could include:

  • Stolen computer
  • Stolen laptop
  • The loss of a hard drive
  • Or the loss of a tablet

If a data breach caused you emotional distress or financial loss, please contact Legal Expert today. If you are eligible to claim compensation for a data breach, we can provide you with a skilled solicitor to manage your claim.

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What Is A Stolen Computer Data Breach Claim?

A personal data breach is a type of security incident at an organisation that compromises personal data protection. The data breach could expose customer data or employee data. Victims may suffer stress after a data breach, especially if sensitive data is leaked.

In this country, we have stringent data protection laws such as the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation UK GDPR. These pieces of legislation were enacted to offer the ”data subject” a lot more protection when it comes to their personal and sensitive information.

If a computer is stolen that has the potential to expose or allow access to personal information this can be classed as a data breach. If there is no password protection on the desktop or laptop computer, then files and confidential personal data will be accessed with ease.

However, to make a personal data breach claim for a stolen computer you must be able to prove liability. Using evidence you will be expected to show how the data controller/organisation failed to protect your personal information.

Examples of personal data which a company could breach:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Bank account
  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Passwords

Please get in touch with Legal Expert to see if you are eligible for stolen computer data breach compensation.

Time Limit For A Data Breach Claim

If you meet the eligibility criteria for a stolen computer data breach claim, you’ll need to make sure you have enough time to get your claim underway.

Generally, you will have six years to start a personal data breach claim. However, this time limit is reduced to one year if you are claiming against a public body.

You can contact our advisors online or on the phone today if you would like to ask any questions regarding your eligibility to start a data breach claim. They could also connect you with one of our experienced solicitors if it seems like you have a strong case.

Types Of Computing Devices Which A Thief Could Steal

An organisation may lose the following devices to theft:

  • Laptop
  • Desktop
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Portable hard drive or USB stick

Organisations must have proper security measures to prevent theft. Moreover, organisations can ensure that their devices are password-protected, preventing unauthorised persons from accessing personal data.

How Can A Stolen Computer Data Breach Affect You

If personal data has been exposed because of a stolen computer data breach this can be an upsetting experience. Furthermore, if sensitive data is breached, this can be particularly traumatic. Also because data breaches can expose financial information that cybercriminals or other fraudsters could use you may also lose out financially.

Sensitive data can include special category data. Special category data can signify deeply personal topics, such as one’s sexuality or religious beliefs. So if an organisation exposes this type of information they hold about you, this might have caused you emotional distress. Sometimes, the data breach victim may have psychiatric injuries such as depression because of a data breach.

Personal and sensitive data also includes information that is kept private to protect a vulnerable person. For example, social services may have information about a child in foster care. If the data is leaked to the public, the error could endanger the child. Social workers must protect their client’s data to avoid social services data breaches.

How To Make A Stolen Computer Data Breach Claim

The UK General Data Protection Regulation states that data controllers are responsible for protecting personal data. Therefore, you may be able to make a stolen computer data breach claim if the organisation did not have adequate security precautions to protect your data. For example, the device may not have had password protection.

To get compensation for a personal data breach, you must prove that you suffered emotional distress, psychological injuries or financial losses. Moreover, you must begin your claim within the data breach claims time limit.

You can report the data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office as well as begin a data breach claim. Organisations are obliged to report data breaches to the ICO if they affect the rights and freedoms of a data subject. If you discover a data breach yourself, you can report the data breach to the person within the organisation who is responsible for handling data security.

However, you can report the data breach to the ICO if you believe the organisation cannot resolve your complaint. Please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office within three months of your last communication with the data controller about the personal data breach otherwise the ICO may fail to investigate your concerns.

Why not call our team of advisors to have your case assessed for free. They will provide free legal advice on what your next steps could be. If you have a good case for compensation one of our specialist data breach solicitors could start working on your case straight away.

Stolen Computer Data Breach Claim Calculator

You may be wondering how much compensation you can get for a personal data breach. You could use the table below as a guide to non-material damages. Non-material damages are awarded for the emotional and physical consequences of the personal data breach. We used Judicial College compensation guidelines in this table. These guidelines are often used by legal professionals in personal injury or medical negligence cases. However, you may receive more or less compensation than what is included in the table, depending on your circumstances.

Severity Type Of Injury Damages Effect Of Injury
Severe Psychiatric Damage £54,830 to £115,730 Effects of the injury may extend through the victims social life, relationships and their ability to work or continue in education. The overall prognosis is poor.
Moderately Severe Psychiatric Damage £19,070 to £54,830 There is a better prognosis, though the person could be affected in a similar way to those in the above category.
Moderate Psychiatric Damage £5,860 to £19,070 This person could have been affected in a similar way but will have made a marked improvement by the time a case comes to trial.
Less Severe Psychiatric Damage £1,540 to £5,860 The person has a better prognosis for recovery. Damages awarded will account for the duration any symptoms lasted for and their severity.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £59,860 to £100,670 All parts of this person’s life may have been affected (work, education, social life and relationships). The injury could result in permanent effects.
Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £23,150 to £59,860 The PTSD could have caused the person to suffer a significant disability and may do so for the foreseeable future. They have a better chance to recover with professional care.
Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £8,180 to £23,150 The injured party should largely have made a recovery. Any remaining symptoms should not be considered grossly disabling.
Less Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £3,950 to £8,180 A full recovery should have been made in 1 to 2 years.

If your data breach claim is successful, you can receive up to two heads of claim. These are:

  • Material damages are compensation for any financial losses associated with the data breach. For example, if fraudsters used your stolen data to target you for a phishing scam, you may be able to claim back any money that the fraudster stole.
  • Non-material damages compensate for the emotional distress or psychological injuries your data breach may have caused.

Start Your Claim For A Stolen Computer Data Breach

If your data is stolen, we may be able to help you. Please get in touch with Legal Expert about making a stolen computer data breach claim for compensation. If you have legitimate grounds to claim, we can provide you with an experienced data breach lawyer to handle your claim. And you can fund the services of your solicitor by making a No Win No Fee claim.

A No Win No Fee arrangement works by allowing you to hire a solicitor without paying a solicitors fee upfront. So, it’s more affordable for many claimants. You will pay a success fee if you win your claim. But if your compensation claim is not successful, you won’t pay a success fee. Therefore, you are not taking a gamble with your finances. Furthermore, we will only let you make a No Win No Fee claim if there is adequate evidence to support your case.

Please contact Legal Expert today to claim for a data breach caused by a lost or stolen device.

  • Call our data breach claims helpline on 0800 073 8804.
  • Use our online claims form to start your claim.
  • Or you can type a question into our Live Support widget. We will respond as soon as possible.

Data Breach And Theft Resources

You may wish to read these resources to learn more.

Bank Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

Have You Been Affected By A Ticketmaster Data Breach – Read this guide for more information

Employer Personal Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

The Data Protection Act 2018

An ICO guide on whether or not organisations need your consent to use your data

Guidance on how to avoid scams from the UK government

Thank you for reading our guide to making a stolen computer data breach claim.

Guide By Chelache

Edited By Melissa.

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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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