Lost Device Data Breach Compensation Claims

This guide will explain how to claim compensation for a lost device data breach. Many companies provide their employees with work laptops, tablets or smartphones. These devices enable employees to work from home or communicate with their colleagues when they are on the go.

Lost device data breach claim

Lost device data breach claim

However, a personal data breach can happen if an employee loses their device or someone steals the device. Because an unauthorised person could use the device to access files containing personal data, this could be considered a personal data breach and you may be able to claim.

Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and an updated version of the Data Protection Act 2018, organisations must protect the personal data they process. If they’ve failed to do this and your personal data was exposed as a result, causing you harm, then you could claim.

Contact UK Law to see if you can claim data breach compensation. An advisor can answer any questions you may have. Furthermore, our panel of data breach solicitors can handle your claim provided it’s valid.

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What Is A Lost Device Data Breach?

A data breach is a security incident in which personal data is exposed. They can happen because of human error. Data breaches can also happen if someone steals a device and they then have access to personal data, however, this could be considered a stolen device or paperwork breach rather than a lost one.

A data breach affects the integrity, availability or confidentiality of personal data. Personal data is any information that can be used, either alone or when put together with other information, to identify a natural person.

A lost device data breach happens because an employee loses a device that contains personal data Therefore unauthorised persons can access the personal data stored on a lost device. This is classed as a data breach.

Is A Lost Device A Data Breach?

If your personal data is stored on a device that is lost or stolen, then this is an example of a data breach. However, not all data breaches can be grounds for a claim.

In order to claim, the breach must have caused you harm. This harm can be material, non-material or both. Even if a breach has happened, you cannot claim if it did not impact you in any way.

Furthermore, in order for you to claim, the breach needs to have happened because of the failings of the organisation that was controlling your personal data. If they did all they could to secure it, but a breach happened anyway, then you would not be able to claim.

For more information on the process of making a claim for a data breach, speak with an advisor today. You could be passed to a lawyer from our panel.

What Devices Could Be Lost Or Stolen?

A lost device data breach can happen if any of the following electronic devices go missing and they were used to store personal data:

  • Smartphone
  • Mobile phone
  • Tablet
  • Laptop
  • Hard drive
  • USB drive
  • Memory card

It’s still classed as a data breach even if it’s encrypted or password protected. This is because, once the device has been lost, you don’t have any way of knowing who has access to it or how skilled they are at hacking devices.

When Can You Claim For A Data Breach?

You can only claim for a data breach where the breach has been caused by the failings of the organisation in control of your data. Furthermore, you will only be owed compensation if the breach has caused you harm.

In cases where the organisation has done all it can to protect your personal data, you will not be able to claim even if a breach occurred that caused you harm. For example, if they had the most up-to-date cyber security systems in place but your data was breached by hackers despite this, then you would not be able to claim.

However, you may be able to claim if their failings led to the breach. For instance, a hospital may fail to provide their employees with data protection training but ask them to process personal data anyway. This might mean that the employee doesn’t know how personal data is protected, leading them to leave a USB stick containing medical records on a train.

Reducing Lost Device Data Breaches

Lost devices are a kind of human error data breached. Human error can be categorised as two different kinds of error- skill-based and decision-based.

Skill-based errors are ones where the persona doing the action knows the correct course of action, but they fail to carry this out because of a temporary lapse in memory or concentration. For example, someone working in a coffee shop on a laptop containing personal data may forget to put the laptop in their bag because of a lapse of memory.

A decision-based error is one where the person makes a choice to do the wrong thing. This might be because they’re trained incorrectly. Both of these kinds of errors can be avoided with data protection training.

Lost Device Data Breach Compensation Calculator

If your lost device data breach claim is successful, you could potentially receive material and/or non-material damages.

Material damages include any financial losses that the data breach caused. For instance, if your credit or debit card details were exposed then this could result in you losing money. You might have to take time off work to deal with the breach, leading to a loss of earnings.

You could also receive compensation for non-material damages. This decribes the mental and emotional impact that the breach has had on you. For example, you could experience anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In the past, you would only have been able to claim for non-material damages if you also suffered material damages. However, since a ruling in the Court of Appeal case of Vidal-Hall vs. Google [2015] you can claim for each individually or both together.

The compensation table below can be used to estimate how much you can claim in non-material damages compensation. However, the information in the table is advisory, so your settlement may differ.

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Compensation guidelines provided by the Judicial College were used to create the compensation table. Legal professionals can use these guidelines to help them value data breach claims.

For more information on making a claim for harm caused by a lost device data breach, speak with an advisor today.

Begin Your Lost Device Data Breach Claim

To begin your lost device data breach claim, please contact us today. You can call our advice line and we can answer any questions you may have. If our advisors feel you have a good chance of success they could connect you with a No Win No Fee lawyer.

When you make a No Win No Fee claim, you won’t pay a solicitors fee upfront or as the claim progresses. Instead, you will pay a success fee from your compensation in the event that you win your claim. The success fee is paid out from your compensation payment. If you’re not awarded compensation,

To begin your claim for a data breach, please contact us today:

  • Call our helpline on 020 3870 4868
  • Contact us online
  • Alternatively, send us a message via our Live Support widget

Find Out More About UK GDPR Breach Claims

You may wish to read these resources, to learn more about claiming compensation for a data breach.

Data Subject Rights Following A Breach Of Data Protection

Wrong Email Address Data Breach Claims

Failure To Redact Data Breach Claims 

An NHS guide to panic attacks and anxiety

A government guide to your data protection rights

How to raise your concerns with an organisation you believe has breached your data.

Thank you for reading our guide to claiming compensation for a lost device data breach.

Writer AL

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