Data Breach Compensation Examples – How Much Could You Claim?

Last Updated 17th June 2024. Have you suffered harm from a data breach? Are you looking for data breach compensation examples? This article will examine different types of data breach compensation damages as well as provide statistics for data breaches. We will also elaborate on the criteria for making a personal data breach claim and how No Win No Fee solicitors could help you.

When personal information is breached it cannot only cause financial implications but also have a bearing on a person’s mental health.

GDPR written in white on top of a red smear.

If you believe you have been subjected to a data breach, then get in touch with our advisors today. They are available all day and can determine whether you have grounds for a claim and they may pass it to our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors who can help begin the claiming compensation process. Contact our advisors by: 

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  1. Data Breach Compensation Examples And Amounts In The UK
  2. When Can I Claim A Data Breach Compensation Amount?
  3. What Is A Personal Data Breach?
  4. Examples of How A Data Breach Can Happen
  5. What Evidence Do I Need To Make A Data Breach Claim?
  6. Begin Your No Win No Fee Data Breach Claim Today

Data Breach Compensation Examples And Amounts In The UK

Compensation for data breach claims can possibly be given for two different types of damage – non-material and material damage. It is possible to claim for one type of damage without the other. 

Non-material damage refers to the psychological injuries that have been suffered following a data breach. For instance, a data breach could cause a pre-existing condition to worsen or a new condition to form, such as anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and stress

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) may be referred to while your non-material damage is being valued. The JCG contains guideline compensation brackets for different types of psychological, and physical, injuries. 

Compensation Table

In the table below, you can find some of the guideline brackets from the JCG for different types of psychological damage (apart from the first amount). None of these figures can be guaranteed for specific cases, as all claims are unique. 

Serious impact to mental health with significant financial lossesSeriousUp to £150,000+
Psychiatric damage generallySevere (a)£66,920 to £141,240
Moderately severe (b)£23,270 to £66,920
Moderate (c)£7,150 to £23,270
Less severe (d)£1,880 to £7,150
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Severe (a)£73,050 to £122,850
Moderately severe (b)£28,250 to £73,050
Moderate (c)£9,980 to £28,250
Less severe (d)£4,820 to £9,980

Material Damage

Material damage refers to the financial losses that have been suffered following a data breach. For instance, if you have:

  • Took time off work and suffered a loss of earnings. 
  • Had to pay for therapy.
  • Needed to pay for relocation costs or additional home security.

Evidence will need to be provided of your material damage in order to claim compensation for it.

For additional data breach compensation examples and find out in more detail about how compensation is calculated, please contact us.

When Can I Claim A Data Breach Compensation Amount?

Data controllers and data processors must adhere to the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation. Controllers set the purpose for processing and data processors act on their instruction. If they failed to adhere to these pieces of legislation it could lead to a personal data breach. 

In order to make a personal data breach claim for compensation, you must prove the following:

  • There were failings on the part of the controller or processor to adhere to the UK GDPR and DPA 2018.
  • This led to a personal data breach.
  • You experienced financial loss, emotional harm, or both as a result. 

Continue reading to find out more about what a personal data breach is and how one could occur. Alternatively, call an advisor on the number above to discuss your eligibility to seek data breach compensation amounts.

What Is A Personal Data Breach?

To understand data breach compensation examples, it would be helpful to break the terms down. A data breach happens when your personal data, as a data subject, has been compromised in a security incident. Personal data is any identifiable information such as:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Home address

The data security incident could involve personal data being altered, lost, disclosed, destroyed or accessed without a lawful basis. Some examples of data breaches can include:

  • An email containing personal data was sent to the wrong email address
  • Lost USBs containing personal medical files on public transport
  • Improper use of Bcc (blind carbon copy)

In situations where data subjects make a successful data breach claim they will have supported their case with evidence that personal data was breached. Also showing how those who should have protected their data failed to take the necessary action and that they suffered harm, financially and/or mentally as a result.

There are two main entities that have a role to play when protecting personal data they handle:

  • Data controllers – They lay out the purpose and means of processing your data.
  • Data processors – An external third party that data controllers use to process your data.

Continue to read for personal data breach compensation examples and what you could possibly claim. 

Examples of How A Data Breach Can Happen

There are several ways a data breach might typically occur, for example, through a cyber crime, such as a ransomware attack or phishing scam, or as a result of a human error. In this section, we focus on human error examples of a data breach.

As such, examples of how a data breach can happen as a result of human error can include:

  • An organisation may fail to use BCC (blind carbon copy) when sending out an email, exposing your email address to any other recipients. Such an error can potentially occur in virtually any industry, such as a magistrates’ court, for instance.
  • A letter containing your personal information being sent to the wrong postal address by an organisation, despite having your correct home address on file.
  • An employer discussing your personal data with the wrong person over the phone due to failing to carry out the necessary identity checks.

In cases where data controllers fail to adhere to data security legislation, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can penalise the companies who have breached data protection legislation. The highest amount that can be fined is £17.5 million or 4% of the total annual worldwide turnover. They will take whichever amount is higher.  

Contact our advisors whenever it is most convenient for you. They are available 24/7 and can discuss the data breach compensation you could be awarded following a successful claim.

What Evidence Do I Need To Make A Data Breach Claim?

To be eligible to start a data breach claim, you will need evidence of the material or non-material damage the breach of your personal data has caused. You’ll also need evidence that establishes that a data controller or data processor failed to comply with data protection legislation, and that this is what led to the personal data breach

Evidence may include the following:

  • A letter of notification from the organisation responsible confirming that the breach occurred and that it is a data breach affecting your personal data.
  • Medical records or the results of an independent medical assessment confirming that you suffered from mental or emotional distress as a result of the breach.
  • Letters or emails to or from the ICO, such as the results of an investigation, a statement regarding the breach, or the results of a complaint you lodged.
  • Evidence of any financial harm, such as bank statements that show money stolen from your account.

For more advice on collecting evidence when claiming for a data breach, or to discuss other matters such as data breach compensation examples, contact our advisors today.

Begin Your No Win No Fee Data Breach Claim Today

After reading about data breach compensation examples, you may want to claim. Having a solicitor help with the process of making a data breach claim can make the whole process feel a lot easier. They cannot only gather the relevant information and evidence needed to prove your claim but they can also refer to data protection law to show who may be liable in your case. 

Our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors can assist with data breach claims through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). 

Hiring a No Win No Fee solicitor this way requires no upfront or ongoing fees to be paid and you pay no money to your solicitor if your claim fails. Your solicitor will only take a success fee if your claim succeeds. The fee is a lawfully-capped percentage of your compensation that they take to cover their service.

Contact our advisors today and they can help determine whether your claim is valid and they may pass it to a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel who can help start your claim. Get in touch today about data protection claims by:

  • Filling out our online claims form to report your personal data breach.
  • Completing our call back form so a member of our team can contact you at a convenient time about your potential personal data breach claim.
  • Calling us on 020 3870 4868

Read More About Data Protection Breaches

Please see our other informative articles:

How To Calculate Special Damages In Your Injury Claim

What Percentage Do Solicitors Take For No Win No Fee Claims In The UK?

There Was No Witness To My Accident, Can I Still Claim?

South Staffordshire Water Data Breach Guide

Or, these other helpful links:

Understanding Secure Email

Email Marketing Guidelines From The ICO

Personal Data Breaches Guide By The ICO

Contact our advisors for free legal advice about data breach examples and data breach compensation claims today.