Losing control of your personal data can have a major impact on your life. A data breach can lead to everything from financial losses and reputational damage to emotional distress and identity theft.
But with so many different companies now needing to store and process your personal data, it can be hard to avoid the risks. Every time you share your address or credit card details with an online retailer or give an employer your passport or National Insurance number, there’s a chance that this data might find its way into the wrong hands.
Thankfully, if you are the victim of a data breach, there are steps you can take to recover from the damage it has caused – and that includes seeking compensation. While this may seem like a complicated and challenging step, it doesn’t need to be. With the help of specialist GDPR breach solicitors, making a claim can be a simple and effective process.
Read on below to find out why.
What is a GDPR breach?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets out the steps organisations must take to keep your personal data safe. It was first introduced across the EU in 2018, and the UK-specific version was introduced after the UK left the EU in January 2020.
The GDPR sets out seven key principles organisations must follow if they want to store and process personal data. These are:
- Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
- Purpose limitation
- Data minimisation
- Storage limitation
- Integrity and confidentiality (security)
Each of these principles sets out specific requirements that organisations must meet. For instance, the accuracy principle states that they must take reasonable steps to ensure the data they hold is correct. The integrity and confidentiality principle, meanwhile, states they must protect it against unauthorised processing or loss – for that reason, it’s also known as the security principle.
If an organisation fails to meet any of these requirements, a GDPR breach has taken place. This can lead to the organisation being fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is responsible for upholding the UK’s data protection regulations.
Unfortunately, it can also lead to significant negative impacts for those whose data is affected.
Can I claim compensation for a GDPR breach?
The short answer to this question is yes. The GDPR enshrines the right for data breach victims to seek compensation. The relevant passage reads:
“Any person who has suffered material or non-material damage as a result of an infringement of this Regulation shall have the right to receive compensation from the controller or processor for the damage suffered.”
The key point to pay attention to here is that you must have suffered material or non-material damage in order to seek compensation. Let’s look more closely at what this means:
- Material damage refers to any financial losses that result from the data breach. For instance, if your bank details are exposed in the breach and this results in fraudulent transactions taking place from your account.
- Non-material damage means the emotional or psychological impact of the breach. Unlike material damage, this can’t be quantified. However, it can still be very serious. The distress or anxiety that you may feel following a data breach can have a real impact on your life.
If you have experienced either of these forms of damage as the result of a data breach, you are entitled to claim compensation under the GDPR.
How much compensation can I receive for a data breach?
As with most compensation claims, the amount you will receive ultimately depend on the severity of the incident. In the case of a data breach, this means:
- The sensitivity of the data. Having your name and email exposed in a data breach is no doubt troubling. But your passport number or bank details are more serious. The GDPR also has separate rules for “special category data”, including data about your health or your racial or ethnic background.
- The nature of the damage. As we explained above, compensation for a GDPR breach is dependent on you having suffered damage as a result. The more serious the damage, the higher the amount of compensation you are likely to receive. In particular, if you have experienced direct financial losses, this can result in a higher award.
If you’d like to learn more about data breach compensation, read our blog on the topic here. Or, if you’d like to read about some specific examples, head over to our case studies page to see how much compensation we’ve been able to secure for our clients.
How to make a data breach claim
In order to make a data breach claim, you may need to take the organisation responsible to court. Unfortunately, though the ICO is responsible for ensuring the UK’s data protection regulations are followed, they cannot award compensation to victims.
Of course, going to court this may sound like a big step. If you’ve been left with financial losses or you’re struggling with emotional distress following a data breach, it may seem like too much to take on. You may be tempted to forget all about it and just move on with your life.
However, making a data breach claim doesn’t have to be a major ordeal. In fact, with the support of a data breach solicitor, it can be smooth and straightforward process. Read on below to find out how GDPR breach solicitors can help support your data breach claim.
5 reasons you should use GDPR breach solicitors for your data breach claim
- Specialist knowledge. A data breach solicitor can provide in-depth and up-to-date understanding of the relevant laws and regulations. This means they can give you a clear understanding of whether an organisation may have breached the GDPR, and if you could be entitled to compensation as a result.
- Simple claims process. By working with a GDPR breach solicitor, you can take the stress out of making a claim. Instead of having to fill out paperwork or request key documents yourself, you’ll be able to rely on the solicitor to take on this work for you.
- Maximising your compensation. A GDPR breach solicitor will have experience in presenting cases clearly and effectively in court. Coupled with their knowledge of the regulations, they will be able to make the strongest possible case and ensure you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve.
- No-win, no-fee option. Here at HNK Solicitors, we operate on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means that there’s no risk in making a claim. If you don’t receive any compensation, you won’t owe us a penny.
- Peace of mind. A data breach can be a distressing experience. In the aftermath, you want to be able to focus on your recovery. By leaving the claims process to an experienced GDPR breach solicitor, you can focus on your own needs, safe in the knowledge it’s all being taken care of.
HNK Solicitors can support your data breach claim
As you can see, using a GDPR breach solicitor for your data breach claim has a range of benefits. It makes the claims process simple and straightforward while also maximising your chances of getting the compensation you’re owed.
Here at HNK Solicitors, we have extensive experience in helping our clients secure tens of thousands of pounds in compensation following a data breach. Our expert team of data breach solicitors offer free consultations, with no obligation to pursue a claim. So, if you’re a data breach victim considering making a compensation claim, get in touch today.
To arrange your free consultation, call us on 0151 668 0809, or email us at email@example.com.