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A Guide To UK GDPR Breach Compensation Claims

By Cat Way. Last Updated 11th June 2024. Are you wondering if you could claim for UK GDPR breach compensation following a breach of your personal data? If you’ve suffered mental or financial harm, you may be able to make a claim.

In this guide, we will explain how a personal data breach can occur, as well as what personal data is. We will also discuss the steps that organisations are expected to take under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).

Following this, we will discuss who can claim compensation for a data breach, and how compensation claims are valued by legal professionals.

To learn more about making a UK GDPR breach compensation claim, get in touch with our team of advisors today. They can provide free legal advice, and answer any further questions you may have that are not addressed by this guide. To learn more:

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Select A Section

  1. A Guide To UK GDPR Breach Compensation Claims
  2. What Is A Breach Of The UK GDPR?
  3. How Could I Be Compensated For A Breach Of The UK GDPR?
  4. How To Claim UK GDPR Breach Compensation
  5. No Win No Fee UK GDPR Breach Compensation Claims
  6. Start Your No Win No Fee Claim

A Guide To UK GDPR Breach Compensation Claims

Before we talk about the UK GDPR, we will first discuss personal data. Personal data is any information that could identify you as a living person. For example, this could include your:

However, it also includes special category data. This kind of personal data is considered to be sensitive in nature, and because of this, it requires extra protection under the UK GDPR and the DPA. Special category data can include your:

If the security, integrity, or availability of this data is compromised in a security incident, then this is a personal data breach. We will discuss the criteria for claiming for a breach later on in this article.

Read on to learn more about claiming UK GDPR breach compensation, or get in touch with our advisors to find out what steps you can take next.

What Is A Breach Of The UK GDPR?

Data controllers and data processors are the two parties that have access to your personal data and are both bound by the UK GDPR and the DPA.

A data controller decides why and how to use your personal data and is responsible for establishing a lawful basis for processing your data. There are 6 lawful bases laid out by data protection legislation. Following this, the data processor processes your personal data by following the data controller’s instructions.

If the data controller or processor fails to comply with the UK GDPR, this could lead to a personal data breach. The UK GDPR is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is an independent, UK based watchdog dedicated to upholding data protection rights for UK residents. They do not offer compensation, but they do have the power to investigate a breach, and they can also fine organisations who breach the UK GDPR.

For example, your employer could breach the UK GDPR by sending your disciplinary records to the wrong email address, even though they have your correct address on file. Or, an accountant data breach could occur if your account verbally discloses your tax information over the phone without first conducting the appropriate security checks.

For more information on starting a claim for UK GDPR breach compensation, get in touch.

How Could I Be Compensated For A Breach Of The UK GDPR?

There are two areas of compensation that you could be eligible to a receive if your claim succeeds. This is compensation for material damage, and compensation for non-material damage.

Non-material damage refers to the damage the breach causes to your mental health. A personal data breach can lead to significant harm to your mental health. For example, you could suffer from anxiety because of a data breach, or depression due to a breach. Harm such as this could be covered by non-material damage compensation.

The table below shows figures that have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a text that solicitors and legal professionals can reference when valuing compensation claims, as it offers guideline settlement brackets. This table features figures relating to non-material damage compensation.

InjurySeverityJCG Bracket
Severe Psychiatric Harm With Financial LossesSevereUp to £250,000+
Psychiatric HarmSevere£66,920 to £141,240
Psychiatric HarmModerately Severe£23,270 to £66,920
Psychiatric HarmModerate£7,150 to £23,270
Psychiatric HarmLess Severe£1,880 to £7,150
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevere£73,050 to £122,850
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerately Severe£28,250 to £73,050
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerate£9,980 to £28,250
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderLess Severe£4,820 to £9,980

Material damage is the area of harm that relates to the financial impacts of the personal data breach. For example, a breach of your credit card details could allow money to be stolen from your bank account. It could also damage your credit score, or debt and arrears in your name.

The figures in the table above are guidelines only, and do not take material damage compensation into account. To learn more about making a claim for UK GDPR breach compensation, get in touch with our team.

How To Claim UK GDPR Breach Compensation

You may be interested in making a claim for UK GDPR breach compensation if your personal data has been compromised in a personal data breach. However, in order to do so, there are criteria that your case has to meet. This is stipulated by the UK GDPR.

To form a claim:

  • Your personal data must be involved in the breach
  • The data controller or data processor must engage in wrongful conduct, leading to the breach
  • The breach must cause you to experience harm, either to your mental health or your finances

If your case meets all of these criteria, then you may be eligible to make a claim. However, it’s important to ensure you start your claim within the time limit. This is usually six years for a general data breach claim, but falls to one year for claims against public bodies.

Our advisors can help you identify whether your claim could be eligible to make a claim. If they find you could be eligible, they may put you in contact with one of our expert solicitors to help you start your claim.

No Win No Fee UK GDPR Breach Compensation Claims

If you are interested in making a UK GDPR compensation claim, we recommend that you seek legal advice. You aren’t obligated to make a claim with the help of a solicitor, but it can be extremely beneficial.

This is because a solicitor can help you with:

  • Communicating with the other party.
  • Understand data protection and legal jargon.
  • Collecting evidence.
  • Filing your claim on time.
  • Negotiating a settlement.

Plus, a benefit of working with our solicitors is that they can help you make a UK GDPR breach claim on a No Win No Fee basis. They work under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which means that:

  • You don’t need to pay them upfront for their work.
  • You don’t need to pay for their work as the claim is ongoing.
  • If your claim doesn’t succeed, you don’t need to pay for their services.

If the claim is successful, then you will pay a success fee to your solicitor. This is a small percentage of your compensation that is capped by the law.

Get in touch with our team of advisors today to learn more about making a claim for UK GDPR breach compensation.

Start Your No Win No Fee Claim

Our advisors are available to answer any questions you may have. They can also offer free legal advice, and could put you in contact with one of our expert data breach solicitors. To learn more or start your claim, get in touch today:

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To learn more about making a UK GDPR breach compensation claim, get in touch with our team today.

Written by Wheeler

Edited by Hampton

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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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