Data Breach – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

Author:
Alexander Welham
Data Protection Solicitor
Date:
14/09/2021

The amount of compensation you can claim for a data breach will depend on the nature of the breach and what impact it had on you. The law around data breaches is still relatively new, so there are no fixed guidelines around the amount of compensation that should be awarded.

If the data breach has affected you financially and mentally, you’ll be awarded an amount of compensation that reflects this. Our Data Breach Solicitors can look at your circumstances and tell you how much we think you might get in a data breach claim.

Get in touch for a free initial case assessment today.

What is the average amount of compensation I could claim?

In England and Wales, compensation amounts can range from £750 to over £10,000 for a data breach claim depending on how serious the data breach was.

For a less serious data breach, where no sensitive personal data was accessed or stolen, and there was no financial loss, the amount of compensation can generally range from £750 to £2,000.

For more serious data breaches which have resulted in a victim’s personal data being stolen and/or financial loss, you could get as much as £10,000 in compensation.

These are just estimates and every case will be different.

For example, data breaches involving high-profile celebrities or highly classified personal data could end up with victims being compensated much higher than £10,000.

What can I claim compensation for?

You can claim for both financial loss and personal distress in a data breach claim.

This can include:

      • Financial loss and/or bad credit
      • Identity theft and fraud
      • Damage to your or your business’ reputation
      • Distress
      • Discrimination

If you’re looking to make a data breach claim, you’ll need to show evidence of any financial loss and distress. For example, a doctor’s note if the breach has caused you mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.

What counts as Personal Data?

Under UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), personal data is any information that can be used to identify a person.

This includes your:

        • Name
        • Identification number e.g. passport or National Insurance
        • Email address
        • Home address
        • Bank details

GDPR also covers ‘special categories of personal data’, which includes:

          • Race or ethnic origin
          • Sex life or sexual orientation
          • Political opinions
          • Religious and philosophical beliefs
          • Genetic data e.g. unique inherited or acquired genetic characteristics that can be used to identify a person
          • Biometric data e.g. fingerprints and facial identification
          • Trade union membership

Time Limits for a Data Breach Claim

You have 6 years from when your data was breached or when you first felt the impact of the breach to make a data breach claim under UK GDPR. There are strict time limits in place for a data breach claim, so it’s important to get expert legal advice as soon as you can so you don’t miss any important deadlines.

We understand that you might not notice the effects of a data breach straight away and might not know exactly when your data was breached. You can use our free data breach checker at any time to see if your data’s been breached, and you should also keep an eye out for any unusual activity on your online accounts if you think you’ve been affected e.g. bank statements or phishing emails.

Does it cost to make a Data Breach Claim?

We handle most data breach claims on a No Win, No Fee basis, which means you won’t pay any legal fees up front, and only pay an agreed percentage from your compensation if we successfully win your claim.

Our Data Breach Solicitors offer a free initial case assessment so we can advise you on whether you’ve got a potential claim, with no obligation to continue afterwards.

Get in touch to find out more about making a data breach claim.

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