Is Revealing My Phone Number A Breach Of The UK GDPR?

Is revealing my phone number a breach of the UK GDPR? As you will learn in this guide, your phone number is considered personal data. And as such, it is covered by data protection laws. Throughout this article, we will explain what the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) is, how it works with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), and who can claim after a breach of the UK GDPR.


Is revealing a phone number a breach of the UK GDPR guide

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What Is The New UK GDPR?

The UK GDPR works alongside the DPA and provides rights to data subjects. Under the UK GDPR, organisations are known as data controllers; when they say why and how a data subject’s personal information will be processed. A data subject is you, when your personal information is being processed. All data controllers must provide at least one of the six lawful bases for processing personal data and implement the seven key principles.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the independent body assigned to help ensure that organisations comply with these laws. You can also report a personal data breach to the ICO, as they often take punitive action against organisations that are found to be in breach of data privacy and protection laws.

To find out if you could be eligible to make a claim, or to learn more about how revealing your phone number could be a breach of the UK GDPR, get in touch with our advisors today.

What Personal Data Is Protected By The UK GDPR?

When an organisation collects or processes your personal data, this makes you a data subject. Personal data is any information that could identify you, including your:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Bank details, such as your debit card and credit card details

Special category data is a type of personal data that requires extra protection under the UK GDPR and DPA and can include information relating to your:

  • Health, such as medical records
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Nationality
  • Ethnicity

For more information on making a data breach compensation claim, contact our advisors today.

Is Revealing My Phone Number A Breach Of The UK GDPR?

A personal data breach is a security incident in which the integrity, availability, or confidentiality of your personal data is compromised. As we have previously established, your phone number is protected as personal data under data protection law.

However, not every instance of an organisation revealing your phone number means a data breach has occurred. To make a personal data breach claim, you must be able to prove that:

  • The data controller or processor did not apply data protection laws when processing your personal information
  • This meant that your personal data was breached
  • And this caused you either mental illness or financial losses.

For example, if your personal details such as your telephone number are emiled to the wrong recipient, this could result in a personal data breach.

How Common Are Breaches Of The UK GDPR?

According to statistics published by the ICO, there were 2,172 data security incidents reported in Q4 of 2021/22. Of this number, 1,696 were non-cyber incidents, including 71 instances of verbal disclosure, 35 instances of loss or theft of devices containing personal data, and 381 instances of personal data being emailed to the wrong recipient.

To learn more about how revealing your phone number could be a breach of the UK GDPR, contact our team of advisors today.

How Long After Your Phone Number Being Revealed Could You Claim?

If your personal data has been breached and this could affect your rights, then the data controller must inform you of this breach as soon as they become aware of it. That said, they must also inform the ICO within 72 hours of being made aware of the data breach.

Should you want to start a claim because your personal information has been breached, then time limits apply.

These are:

  • 6 years to begin a personal data breach claim
  • 1 year if your claim is against a public body, such as a local council

Contact our advisors today to learn more about personal data breach claims time limits. They can provide free legal advice and may be able to connect you with a solicitor from our panel.

What Could Be Claimed After Revealing A Phone Number As A Breach Of The UK GDPR?

There are two types of compensation you could potentially receive following a successful personal data breach claim: material damages and non-material damages. Material damages relate to the financial impacts the breach may have had on you. For example, if a breach includes your banking details, this could lead to significant financial damage.

Non-material damages relate to the psychiatric effects of the breach. For example, following a breach, you may experience stress, depression, or anxiety. The table below features figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which provides guideline compensation amounts to help legal professionals value claims.

Injury Severity Notes Compensation
PTSD Severe The victim’s ability to function would be severely affected by this level of PTSD. Their lives would be affected in every way. £59,860 to £100,670
PTSD Moderately Severe In spite of this level of PTSD affecting the victim’s quality of life, it is likely that they will make some recovery, however, their symptoms may persist for some time. £23,150 to £59,860
PTSD Moderate It is likely that the victim is already recovering well from this level of PTSD, and there would only be minor ongoing disability. £8,180 to £23,150
PTSD Less Severe It may take two years to recover, but minor symptoms may last for a longer period of time. £3,950 to £8,180
Psychological Harm Severe Having this disorder would make it hard for the sufferer to hold down a job, go to school, and take care of their family. Symptoms may persist for a long time if not permanent. £54,830 to £115,730
Psychological Harm Moderately Severe Severe These symptoms make it difficult for the sufferer to function normally on a day-to-day basis. In time, however, there is a good chance of some recovery. £19,070 to £54,830
Psychological Harm Moderate The patient might have experienced mental health issues initially, but will be able to recover well and will have a favourable prognosis. £5,860 to £19,070
Psychological Harm Less Severe The amount of compensation received depends on how long the victim suffered, and how badly their life was affected. £1,540 to £5,860

Since the ruling of Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc [2015], you may now make a claim for non-material damages without claiming for material damages alongside it. For more information on whether or not revealing your phone number is a breach of the UK GDPR, contact our advisors today.

Is Revealing Your Phone Number A Breach Of The UK GDPR? Contact Us To Learn More

Contact our team of advisors today if you want to start your personal data breach claim. They can offer free legal advice, and if your claim is valid, they may connect you with a solicitor from our panel.

By offering their services through a No Win No Fee agreement known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), a solicitor from our panel could provide you with expert legal representation without upfront costs. This is because, under a CFA, you do not pay any upfront costs to your solicitor. If your case is successful, your solicitor will take a small percentage of your award as their success fee. However, if your claim does not succeed, you do not pay this fee.

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Personal Detail Data Breach Resources

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