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Virgin Media Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Virgin Media Data Breach

My Data Privacy Was Breached By Virgin Media, Could I Claim Compensation?

By Mark Ainsdale. Last Updated 24th August 2021. In the past couple of years, you may have heard about the GDPR or, more formally, the General Data Protection Regulation. It became part of British law when The Data Protection Act 2018 was enacted and means companies who breach data laws could be fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). In this article, we’re going to take a look at when you could make a Virgin Media data breach claim for any harm that’s been caused.

Virgin Media data breach compensation claims

Virgin Media data breach claims guide

The new data laws mean individuals have a lot more control over what information companies hold about you, how they can use it and if they’re allowed to share it with other organisations.

Further information

They also have an obligation to implement security measures to try and ensure the information that could identify you doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. While that’s usually what happens, mistakes can be made. Therefore, we look at what type of data breaches can occur, how they could cause you harm and why you could make a compensation claim against the company responsible.

Legal Expert is here to support you through a data breach claim. Our specialist advisors can help you with free legal advice on starting a claim. They also review your case on a no-obligation basis. If they believe your case has a reasonable chance of success, they pass it to one of our specialist solicitors. Should they agree to take your claim, they work for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

To make a start on your claim right away, please call us on 0800 073 8804 today. Otherwise, you’ll find out more about how to make a Virgin Media data breach claim in the rest of this guide.

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A Guide To Data Protection Breach Claims Against Virgin Media

There are many reasons why companies need to use your personal information these days. It could be that they need to keep your information on file to help manage services they provide for you, for marketing purposes or because you’ve entered a competition.

Since implementing the GDPR, if a company wants to use your personal details for any purpose, they need to tell you why and ask your permission first. That means, for instance, if you’ve allowed your details to be stored to enter a competition, the company isn’t allowed to use those details to send you marketing materials unless you’ve also agreed to that as well.

During the course of this article, we’ll consider what types of data breaches can happen, the harm they can lead to and how much compensation you could receive. We’ll also look at an example of a recent Virgin Media data breach. In addition, we’ll provide details of how the ICO could investigate and fine a company if your data is leaked.

Further information

It’s important to point out that a time limit needs to be adhered to for data breach claims. In general, this is a 6-year period, but for cases involving a breach of an individual’s human rights, the time limit is reduced to 1-year.

Here at Legal Expert, we always advise that you start a claim as soon as you’re able to. By doing so, it’ll be easier for you to recall how things happened and the effect the data breach had on you. Also, solicitors will generally find it easier to collect evidence from substantiating your claim the sooner they’re able to start the claims process.

After reading this article, please give us a call to discuss how we could help you claim. Note that you would need to conclusively prove that you’re the victim of a Virgin Media data breach.

What Is A Data Protection Breach Claim Against Virgin Media?

There are many different ways that a data breach could happen, and not all of them are down to computer systems. The GDPR defines a data breach. It involves a security breach that causes personal information about you to be lost, accessed, altered, destroyed, disclosed or accessed in ways that you’ve not given permission for. They can be the result of an accidental act, or they could be deliberate or illegal. Furthermore, data breaches can involve electronic data or physical printed documentation.

While many companies deal exclusively with digital data these days, it’s still possible for data breaches involving printed documents to occur. For instance, they could happen if an office is broken into and documents are stolen from an unlocked filing cabinet or if documents containing personally identifiable information are not disposed of securely and end up in the public domain.

When a company realises that a data breach has taken place, they need to tell the affected people, inform the ICO and launch an investigation. They should try to let those affected by the breach know when it happened, how it took place and what data was disclosed to.

If you’d like Legal Expert to help you make a Virgin Media data breach compensation claim, please contact a specialist today. Provided you have clear evidence of the breach and the harm caused. We may be able to help you.

What Is Required For Businesses To Comply With The GDPR?

To help understand how companies like Virgin Media should comply with the GDPR, we will list some of the key roles defined by it. They include:

  • The Data Controller – this is the company that has to define why data needs to be processed and how the processing should be carried out safely.
  • A Data Processor – this could be an individual or company tasked with carrying out the processing by the data controller.
  • The Data Subject – in this scenario, the data subject will be a customer of Virgin Media whose personal information is being processed.

More information

Additionally, some important data principles are outlined in the GDPR, including:

  • The data subject should always be informed of the reason why their personal information is required.
  • Processing of data should be within the law, fair and transparent to the data subject.
  • A data processor should collect the minimum amount of information required to fulfil the requirement.
  • When personal data has been processed, it should be kept up to date.
  • Data processing should be confidential and secure.
  • Data is only allowed to be retained for the time specified when it was processed.
  • The data controller needs to be able to demonstrate that they fully comply with these principles.

To discuss whether or not you have grounds to start a Virgin Media data breach claim today, please ask one of our friendly advisors.

Data Leaks And Breach By Virgin Media

We’re now going to review a Virgin Media data breach case in 2020, which involved 900,000 existing and potential customer records.

It is believed that those customers’ personal information was accessible online from April 2019 to February 2020. The leaked data included names, phone numbers, email addresses, and details about the customer’s products. However, Virgin Media categorically stated that no payment information or customer passwords were stored in the database.

Importantly, Virgin Media’s investigation has highlighted that the database was accessed by one unauthorised third party, but it is not yet known why.

Further details

The breach was caused by a misconfigured marketing database relating to existing customers and those who’d shown an interest in Virgin Media products. The ICO has expressed concern that this breach wasn’t due to a network or computer hack but by the company’s negligence that failed to secure the database correctly. As soon as the problem happens, Virgin Media officials would take steps to shut the database down.

Due to the amount of time that the data was exposed, it affected nearly a million people, and it was caused by negligence, an ICO spokesman said, “Fines towards the maximum of the applicable Act are likely.”

The ICO has the ability to issue fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the company’s turnover (whichever is the higher amount). This link provides further information about one example of a Virgin Media data breach and the subsequent fine.

How A Private Company May Be In Breach Of Data Privacy Regulations

As shown in the previous section, massive data breaches can occur because a computer system is hacked or misconfigured. Still, they can also be caused by human mistakes and don’t necessarily involve digital data.

Here are some more examples of how a data breach could happen:

  • If a company disposes of documentation that contains personally identifiable information instead of shredding it.
  • When a member of staff reads your customer record when there’s no business reason to do so.
  • If a member of staff emails documents containing personal information to non-work computers.
  • Where a letter or email containing your personal information is sent to the wrong customer.

If, for whatever reason, you believe you suffer harm as the result of a Virgin Media data breach, please call Legal Expert today to have a free claim assessment. As long as you can prove the breach and the harm, you may have a case.

Could I Have Help From The Information Commissioner’s Office?

If you ask Legal Expert to review your case and a solicitor agrees to take it on, they work with you to obtain evidence to support the claim. The first thing you might have to do is contact the company in question and raise a formal complaint.

When the company responds, they should tell you what they believe happens and, at some point, provide you with a final response. If you’re not happy with that, their letter should tell you how to escalate the complaint, i.e. to a company director or an ombudsman, perhaps.

After you follow all escalation routes, if you and your solicitor are still unhappy, you could speak to the ICO. While the ICO cannot issue compensation for those affected by the data breach, they have the power to investigate it and report on their findings. That report could provide important evidence of what happened, who was to blame and what information leaks. All of this is crucial for a successful Virgin Media data breach claim should you ever need to file one.

Further details

If you need to ask the ICO to step in, you should do so after 3-months have passed since you last communicated meaningfully with the company you’re complaining about. Be warned, though. The ICO could refuse to investigate claims that have taken too long to reach them.

Once your solicitor has the evidence they need to proceed, they’ll contact the company and explain why you believe compensation should be paid. If you’d like one of our advisors to review your claim to see if a solicitor will take it on, please reach out to us today.

How Could Victims Of Data Privacy Breaches Receive Compensation?

Now we’re going to consider what compensation you might receive when claiming for a data breach. Claims must have a thorough assessment by your solicitor before the request goes through because many different elements could affect how much you claim.

In general, compensation claims for data breaches have two elements.

Material damages claims come when you suffer financial losses and non-material damages for psychological injuries resulting from the data breach.

While these categories can go deeper, we won’t do so here because each claim is different, so not all elements will apply in all cases.

Further information

That said, the types of things a solicitor will consider when claiming for financial losses includes whether there will be any long-term losses on top of any you already suffer. For instance, if a cybercriminal uses your personal information to apply for loans or mortgages, there might be a negative impact on your credit score for many years to come.

Also, when they look at claims for psychological injuries, your solicitor will use medical specialists to help demonstrate what impact anxiety, depression or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has had on your relationships, work, education or life in general.

So, there is some complexity in working out what compensation you can claim for, but it’s a really important process. Without this, you could miss out on the compensation you might receive. Therefore, why not contact us today to see if our team of specialist solicitors could support your case? And we could then handle potentially handle your Virgin Media data breach claim if there’s sufficient evidence.

How Much Could You Receive In Compensation For A Data Breach?

There was a very important legal case before the Court of Appeal about data breach claims. In Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], it was decided that it’s possible to seek compensation for the psychological harm that results from a data breach, even when there have been no pecuniary or financial losses. They would also state that awards for non-material damage should be made in line with personal injury law.

Therefore, the table below shows compensation examples for injuries that could result from a data breach. The figures within the table are from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a document that courts and lawyers use when determining settlement amounts.

Claim TypeInjury LevelSettlement BracketFurhter Details
Psychiatric InjurySevere£51,460 to £108,620The claimant will have marked problems with coping with life, education, work and there will be problems with relationships too. The prognosis in this category will be very poor and the claimant will continue to remain vulnerable in the future.
Psychiatric InjuryModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460While the claimant is likely to suffer some of the same symptoms as listed above, the medical prognosis will be more optimistic.
PTSD Severe£56,180 to £94,470The effects of this illness will be permanent and symtpoms will include flashbacks, nightmares, hyper-arousal, mood disorders and suicidal ideation which will prevent work and mean the victim won't be able to return to pre-trauma levels.
PTSDModerately Severe£21,730 to £56,180The prognosis in this category will be better than above but still lead to significant disability in the forseeable future.
PTSDLess SevereUp to £7,680A full recovery made within 1-2 years

To prove the extent of your suffering, your solicitor arranges an appointment for you to attend a local medical assessment. They’ll then prepare a report containing their findings and send it on to your solicitor.

How To Claim Against A Private Company Which Had Breached Your Data Privacy

To reiterate what we mentioned earlier, an ICO investigation will not result in any compensation for the harm caused by a data breach. Therefore, we’d advise you to contact the company you wish to complain about in the first instance, find out what they have to say and then seek legal representation if you’re not happy with their response.

Your solicitor will then advise you whether evidence from an ICO investigation might help your case.

How A Data Protection Breach Solicitor Could Help You

If you decide to work with Legal Expert, and your claim happens, you have a specialist solicitor. And they will manage all communication with the defendant for you.

They are available throughout your case to answer any questions or explain any legal jargon that crops up. You receive regular updates as the case continues. And your solicitor will work hard to try and ensure you receive a fair amount of compensation.

No Win No Fee Data Protection Breach Claims Against Virgin Media

We completely understand that many people worry about the cost of hiring a solicitor to make their claim. That’s the reason our team of solicitors provide a No Win No Fee service for any claim they accept.

When you get in touch, a solicitor will review your case to check it has a chance of success. A conditional fee agreement (CFA) explains how the solicitor will conduct your case if they decide to proceed. It will also explain that:

  • There will be no upfront charges which will allow your claim to begin quickly.
  • Also, there won’t be any solicitor’s fees or surprise charges during the claims process.
  • In the unfortunate event that the claim loses, you won’t pay any of your solicitor’s fees.

If your solicitor wins your case, they retain a small portion of your compensation to cover their costs. This is a success fee. The exact percentage you pay is in the CFA. Therefore, you don’t receive any surprises when the claim has a settlement. Also, it’s worth noting that, by law, success fees have a legal cap.

Please contact our team today to check if you’re eligible to claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

Data Breach Statistics

It is one thing for us to emphasise how often data breaches could happen. But it is another thing when we have Government reports to back it up. And so we have the findings of the Government’s cyber security breaches survey. Note that this covers a 12-month period between 2020 and 2021. And this survey states that around 39% of companies would state that they had suffered a data breach. And all of these data breaches would be during the same twelve-month span. It doesn’t break down the sectors other than charities, 26% of which are the victims of data breaches.

It does, however, note that amongst medium-level businesses, this figure rises to 65%, which is almost two-thirds. These are very large percentages when you consider that this is just a single year. And many of the companies who didn’t suffer a data breach during 2020/21 may have done previously. Additionally, the ICO has a list of the UK companies reporting a data breach. Note that this doesn’t account for every data breach, just those worthy of an ICO report. But regardless, if you suffer from a data breach, you could still seek compensation for the damages as a result. So, please get in touch to find out more information about how you can claim compensation.

Begin A Claim For A Data Breach

To start a claim today and want Legal Expert to support you, use any of the following contact methods:

  • Call one of our specialists for free advice on 0800 073 8804
  • Please send us an email with details of what happened to info@legalexpert.co.uk.
  • Ask an online advisor for advice using our live chat channel.
  • Start an online claim to arrange a call back at a convenient time.

To make things easier, our claims line is open 7-days a week, 24-hours a day. Your claim has a free assessment by an advisor. And they could refer you to one of our solicitors if they believe your claim could succeed. So please speak to us about how to claim.

Additional Resources

Thanks for taking the time to complete this article on claiming for a Virgin Media data breach. In this final part of the guide, we’ve added some additional guides and helpful resources:

Virgin Train Accident Claims – Advice on starting a personal injury claim after sustaining an injury while using Virgin Trains.

Local Authority Data Breach Claims – Information on claiming against your local council for a data breach.

Virgin Voyages Injury Claims – Details on how to start a cruise ship injury claim.

Report A Data Breach – Additional information on how to report a breach to the ICO.

Help With Stress – An NHS guide on getting help with stress.

What Information Do They Have? – Government advice on requesting what data a company holds on you.

Please feel free to contact our team if there is any further information you require.

Virgin Media Data Breach FAQs

When was the Virgin Media data breach?

This was a data breach from April 2019. Here, a staff error would allow for no protection of customer marketing details on their website.

How do you know if the Virgin Media data breach affects you?

Virgin Media would inform you whether you’re a potential victim of their data breach.

Can you get compensation for a data breach?

Yes, though you need to produce evidence that proves you’re a victim of a specific data breach.

What to do if you are a victim of a data breach?

You should remain aware and initiate a fraud alert while looking over financial accounts and credit reports. And you should also freeze your credit file.

How do I claim a data breach?

You should complain to the company itself and the ICO before taking it to the small claims court.

What are examples of a data breach?

These could include the stealing of money, USB drives or computer machinery.

What are the 3 categories of personal data breaches?

These are confidentiality, availability and integrity breaches.

Who must inform a data breach?

The organisation that suffers the data breach must inform all relevant people about the breach and its consequences.

Thank you for reading our Virgin Media data breach claims guide.

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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