Stolen Documents Data Breach Claim
Can you make a stolen documents data breach claim after your personal data was breached this way? Perhaps an organisation never secured your personal data correctly and this allowed it to be stolen? Or may be they never had correctly installed cyber security systems that meant hackers could steal your information from online databases. Did it lead to you suffering financial or psychological injuries?
A lost or stolen paperwork data breach security incident can be inconvenient and distressing. We trust that the organisations that handle our personal data (data controllers) keep this information safe and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and its supporting legislation the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).
- Call our team for help with your stolen documents data breach claim by ringing 0800 073 8804
- Contact us online to request a call back
- Use our ‘live support’ portal below
- Or continue reading the sections and click on the highlighted text for further resources.
Select A Section
- What Is A Stolen Documents Data Breach Claim?
- Scenarios Where Stolen Documents May Be A Data Breach
- How To Claim For A Personal Data Breach
- Stolen Documents Data Breach Claim Calculator
- Contact Our Team To Claim For Stolen Documents Data Breach
Firstly, what are the circumstances under which you could be eligible to make a stolen documents data breach claim? A personal data breach involves personal information that has been involved in a security incident whereby it has been:
- Accessed without authority
An independent body called the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) enforces UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act. Data security laws give data subjects (individuals who have their personal data processed) more say over their processed personal and sensitive data. In addition to constructive guidance, the ICO has the power to investigate and issue fines to anyone who fails to apply data protection laws. There are 7 Core Principles for ensuring that data controllers abide by data protection laws:
- Data is lawfully and fairly collected in an obvious and transparent way
- Purpose limitation
- Only process necessary data
- Data must be accurate
- Data must not be kept for longer than needed
- All personal data should be secure
- Each involved party should take personal responsibility for good data practice.
A stolen documents data breach claim is eligible when you can prove personal data has been breached because of failings on the part of the data controller or ‘positive wrongful conduct’ took place.
Speak to us if you can demonstrate that another party was remiss in their obligations to secure your digital or hard copy details and you were harmed by it.
To claim you must have suffered financial and/or emotional injury because of it. Read on to learn more about your rights after lost data caused a personal data breach
Two types of data are protected under data protection legislation. Personal data consists of details that can identify you such as your name, address, or telephone number. Then there is personal sensitive data or special category data that is required to have extra protection
Personal data can be dealt with by two groups called controllers and processors. The controller is usually an organisation that requested the information. Processors can be those tasked with the processing of personal data. Either party can make an error with correct data handling and both are equally responsible under UK GDPR to avoid security breaches as much as possible.
Document related data security breaches can occur if the:
- Wrong email address is used
- Documents are posted to an incorrect address or recipient
- Documents attached in error
- Lost or stolen devices such as laptops or smartphones containing data
- Or there has been a failure to use the blind copy carbon (Bcc) email feature before sending emails
A fundamental part of the 7 Core Principles is personal accountability. This means that whoever is in possession of hard copy or digital files of personal data, has a duty to ensure it is protected in accordance with UK GDPR. Allowing personal data in a document or digital form to be left in an unsecured location like a car or a box at home could give rise to loss or theft.
Likewise, any documents held in a filing cabinet that poses personal data need to be kept locked away and secure so they cannot be stolen. This is the same for online files accessed through the internet. Organisations must have firewalls and cyber security systems in place to prevent hackers from infiltrating their systems.
Discovering a breach may be something that only happens when the agency concerned contacts you. Data controllers have an obligation to report a serious data breach to the ICO within 72 hours and to tell impacted data breach subjects as soon as possible. If you have concerns personally about the loss or theft of your personal data, you can:
- Complain to the agency concerned
- Complain directly to the ICO. They do not pay compensation and may not get in involved but it sends a strong message to the other party that you are unhappy about your data use
- Start to assemble actual proof of expense caused to you by the data breach – either financial or the psychological impact
- Consider legal representation to seek damages from the party who compromised your personal data.
The negative repercussions of a data breach can be tremendously distressing for those it impacts. The case Vidal-Hall v Google set the precedent that compensation may apply for emotional harm caused when there has been no financial loss.
As well as the potential to suffer the loss of money if the documents include financial details, (material damages) experiencing psychological injury such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental injuries (non-material damages) is possible.
With this in mind, the chart below shows how the Judicial College Guidelines give award bracket compensation amounts (not guarantees) for psychiatric suffering:
|Type of Psychiatric Injury||Severity Level and Judicial College Guideline Award Bracket||Additional Notes|
|General Psychiatric Damage||(a) Severe Degree - £54,830 to £115,730||Cases in this bracket represent a severe and disabling impact on every area of the person's life|
|General Psychiatric Damage||(b) Moderately Severe Level - £19,070 to £54,830||A more hopeful prognosis but still reflective of long-standing disabling mental health issues|
|General Psychiatric Damage||(c) Moderate Level - £5,860 to £19,070||Issues that improve by the time the case may be heard in court|
|General Psychiatric Damage||(d) Less Severe Level - £1,540 to £5,860||Reflective of impact on sleep, or the impact of a specific anxiety phobia|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(a) Severe Level - £59,860 to £100,670||Permanent impact on the individual's ability to cope at pre-trauma levels|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(b) Moderately Severe Level - £23,150 to £59,860||Differentiated from the above bracket due to the help that professional counselling may bring|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(c) Moderate Level - £8,180 to £23,150||A recovery in general terms with only mild remaining trauma issues|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(d) Less Severe Level - £3,950 to £8,180||Issues that have resolved or left a minimal level of damage within 12 - 24 months|
With this in mind, your stolen documents data breach claim could use the results of a psychiatric assessment to calculate similar. Proof of financial losses such as missed work, counselling costs, or other related bills and receipts can ensure a more thorough compensation amount. Speak to our team to learn what other out-of-pocket costs you may be eligible for.
A No Win No Fee agreement could help fund the services of a solicitor. Arrangements such as this require no upfront or ongoing charges. In addition to this, there are no fees due to them at all if the case is unsuccessful. A winning outcome needs a fixed maximum deduction from your settlement of no more than 25%.
To find out more about how you can start a case today:
- Call our team by calling on 0800 073 8804
- Contacting us online
- Or using our ‘live support’ portal below
Related Data Or Device Theft Claims
In addition to a stolen documents data breach claim, the resources below offer further help on related topics:
- More about stolen computer data breach claims
- Is sharing an email address a breach of UK GDPR? Find out more
- How to make a data breach claim if medical records have been stolen
- Read more on special category personal data
- Tips for staying safe online
- More reading on advice about good data sharing and security