What Could You Claim For An Employer’s Accidental Breach Of Data Protection?
Have you been harmed by your employer’s accidental breach of data protection? If so, this guide may help you assess whether you are eligible to claim after a personal data breach.
In this guide, we will look at how a personal data breach could happen in the workplace. Additionally, we will discuss what kind of data could be involved, what data employers may have access to and how much you could potentially claim in personal data breach compensation.
We will also explore how a No Win No Fee solicitor may be able to assist you in making your claim. Our advisors are available to answer any questions you might have and to provide free legal advice.
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- What Is Data Protection In The Workplace?
- How Could An Employer Breach Your Privacy?
- Can You Claim If Affected By An Employer’s Accidental Breach Of Data Protection?
- What Could You Claim Following An Employer’s Accidental Breach Of Data Protection
- How Much Could You Claim Following An Employer’s Accidental Breach Of Data Protection?
- Talk To A Member Of Our Team
The rules and obligations your employer must follow to protect your personal data are set out in the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA.) Per data protection law, your employer must ensure they are doing everything required to protect your personal data, which is information that could identify you. If they fail to do so, this could result in a personal data breach.
Data controllers and processors are generally responsible for handling your personal data. A data controller decides how and why they collect and use your data. A data processor handles this data on the controller’s behalf. Your employer will usually be a data controller, but in some circumstances, they may also be a processor.
If you suffer harm as a result of an employer’s accidental breach of data protection, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. However, to do so, the breach must be a result of your employer’s failings. You can contact our advisors today to learn more about how an employer’s accidental breach of data protection law could affect data protection in the workplace.
Human error could be the cause of an employer’s accidental breach of data protection. Additionally, a cyber attack can lead to a personal data breach. Some examples of how a personal data breach could occur in the workplace include:
- Phishing scams: Data protection compliance training in the workplace can help employers and employees recognise phishing scams before they interact with them.
- Poor administrative process: A personal data breach could result from poor administrative processes or administrative errors. This could include failure to use BCC in an email or a breach of personal data from files that are not locked away or secured.
- Misdelivery of personal data: This is when someone sends a letter or email containing your personal data to the wrong recipient. For example, your employer could send an email containing your salary information or disciplinary papers to the wrong email address.
Our advisors can provide free legal advice when you get in touch today.
In order to form a valid claim, there are criteria that your case must meet. Firstly, you must prove that your employer’s failings caused the breach. For example, perhaps your employer did not equip your workplace with an adequate security system. This could allow devices that contain personal data to be stolen.
Additionally, you must suffer harm as a result of your employer’s accidental breach of data protection. This could financial harm, such as losing your savings due to fraud, or mental harm, such as stress due to a data breach.
To learn more about who could be eligible to claim following a personal data breach in the workplace, contact our advisors. If your claim is valid, they may put you in contact with a solicitor from our panel.
Following your employer’s accidental breach of data protection, you could suffer from psychological injuries and financial loss. Data protection legislation refers to these as non-material damage and material damage.
Psychological injuries such as anxiety, stress, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are all considered non-material damage. In order to make a claim under this heading, you must prove that the breach caused mental harm.
The financial impacts of a personal data breach fall under material damage. These can be impacts such as charges on your credit card, damage to your credit score, or loans taken out in your name. Again, you must prove that the financial losses were due to the data breach. Keeping a record, such as bank statements, can help you prove your case when claiming compensation.
For more information on what you could claim following a personal data breach, contact our team.
As stated in the section above, following an employer’s accidental breach of data protection, you could make a claim for non-material and material damage.
We have created a table containing compensation figures you could potentially receive in non-material damage following a personal data breach. These compensation figures were taken from the most current edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), published in April 2022. Solicitors will often use the JCG to help value claims as they give compensation brackets for various injuries. Please only use these figures as an estimate.
|Injury Type||Severity & Notes||Amount|
|Psychiatric Damage Generally||SEVERE - Issues coping with daily life, with a severe impact on all areas of work, relationships, and education.||£54,830 to £115,730|
|Psychiatric Damage Generally||MODERATELY SEVERE - Similar to the above, however, the prognosis is slightly more optimistic.||£19,070 to £54,830|
|Psychiatric Damage Generally||MODERATE - Significant improvement of symptoms by the time of trial.||£5,860 to £19,070|
|Psychiatric Damage Generally||LESS SEVERE - The amount awardable depends on how long the person suffers and to what extent.||£1,540 to £5,860|
|Reactive Anxiety Disorder||SEVERE - No longer capable of function at the level they would have pre-trauma.||£59,860 to £100,670|
|Reactive Anxiety Disorder||MODERATELY SEVERE - Some recovery with the help of a professional, but significant issues remain.||£23,150 to £59,860|
|Reactive Anxiety Disorder||MODERATE - A large recovery with no significantly disabling effects remaining.||£8,180 to £23,150|
|Reactive Anxiety Disorder||LESS SEVERE - A virtually full recovery, with only minor symptoms that persis past one to two years.||£3,950 to £8,180|
It is important to mention that prior to the Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc. (2015) court case, you could only claim for mental distress if you had suffered financially too. However, after this case, the Court of Appeal decided that anyone affected by a data breach can now claim for non-material damage alone or in conjunction with material damage.
For a free estimate of what your claim could be worth, contact our team today.
A type of No Win No Fee arrangement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) can be a beneficial way of funding legal representation for your claim. Our panel of solicitors could provide you with legal representation under a CFA, with benefits such as:
- No upfront solicitor fees to pay
- Throughout the duration of your claim, there are no fees to pay
- You will only pay a small success fee if your case is successful to your solicitor.
- You will not have to pay for your solicitor’s services if your case is not successful
To find out if your claim could be valid, contact our team today:
Some more useful articles:
- Stolen paperwork data breach compensation claims.
- Verbal disclosure data breach compensation claims.
- HR data breach compensation claims.
For more information:
- Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO): Understanding and assessing risk in personal data breaches.
- ICO: Taking your case to court and claiming compensation.
- NHS: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)
Contact our advisors if you still have any questions about making a claim after an employer’s accidental breach of data protection.
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