My Data Was Breached Via WhatsApp – How Do I Claim?

Have you had data breached via WhatsApp or other messaging services? It may be that a third party that was supposed to protect your personal information failed to do so when using it. For example, your personal data may have been shared without a lawful reason via a messaging service.

data breached via WhatsApp

A guide on what you could do if your data was breached via WhatsApp

If this has happened to you, and you suffered harm as a result, then you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation. The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) protects people’s personal data rights. 

You can connect with our team at UK Law for clear and free expert advice on making a claim for a data breach. Our panel of experts can assist you with your claim. To talk to us today, you can contact us on:

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Data Breach Via WhatsApp?
  2. How Could Someone Breach Your Privacy Via WhatsApp?
  3. How Could Your Data Being Breached Via WhatsApp Impact You?
  4. When Should A Data Breach Via WhatsApp Be Reported?
  5. What Could You Be Awarded If Your Data Is Breached Via WhatsApp?
  6. Could A No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitor Help Me?

What Is A Data Breach Via WhatsApp?

Messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, are a useful tool to easily connect with people. Sometimes, people share personal information via messaging services. 

Personal information or personal data is information that can identify you, whether directly or in combination with other data.

A personal data breach is when information that has been entrusted to a data controller has been altered, disclosed, destroyed, lost or has been accessed by a third party unlawfully or accidentally. 

Following a data breach, you may be wondering if there are any time limits that could impact your claim. Usually, a claim for a data breach would need to be started within 6 years from the date of the breach. However, if you claim against a public body, the time limit is reduced to 1 year. 

For more information on time limits and how they could affect your claim. Talk with one of our advisors today.

Has WhatsApp Breached The UK GDPR?

In 2021, WhatsApp was fined by the Irish Data Protection Commission due to breaching data privacy regulations. This was after the EU GDPR took effect in 2018. The application needed to be transparent about its data practices for both users and those that don’t use the service. 


How Could Someone Breach Your Privacy Via WhatsApp?

Data breached via WhatsApp by a third party can occur for a number of different reasons. We have gathered some examples of how can data can be breached via WhatsApp.

Examples of data breaches due to human error can include:

  • Employees verbally disclosing someone’s personal information over a messaging service, without a lawful reason
  • Personal data shared on the service gets accessed by a third party without a lawful reason
  • An employee sends personal data about a client to an unauthorised recipient

Data breaches can also happen for other reasons. The loss or theft of computers or documentation containing personal data could be a data breach. If personal data was not locked away or secured properly, it could lead to a data breach.

Companies that handle UK personal data are legally obliged to follow the rules that have been set out in the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.  

You can see the impact of data breaches on all sectors of the economy, below in the statistics section. 

Data Breach Rates Illustrated

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 has produced statistics from sectors including education, justice, health and central government. The last financial quarter (Q4 202122) showed that there were 2,172 total breaches of data. 

Cyber attacks make up 476 of the total breaches with non-cyber incidents making up the other 1,696. The health sector was the most impacted by data breaches.

How Could Your Data Being Breached Via WhatsApp Impact You?

A data breach can have a negative impact on your mental health. Stress can be considered as one of the potential consequences of a data breach. Likewise, if a company or organisation mishandles personal data, such as financial information, or the information is stolen or altered, it can have a similar effect on your stress. 

For more information on how a data breach can impact you. Talk to us today. Our advisors are trained in giving free legal advice and guidance about these situations. 

When Should A Data Breach Via WhatsApp Be Reported?

You might be wondering how and when you should report a data breach. 

If you have a concern about the way an organisation is handling your personal data, then you could make a complaint about this to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). However, it would be a good step to first contact the company about the data breach if the company hasn’t reached out to you. If a data breach risks your rights and freedoms, the company responsible for the data processing should contact you without undue delay. They should also contact the ICO within 72 hours. 

When contacting the company with your concern, it is important for the company to confirm that your information has been included with the breached information. If you don’t receive a response or receive an inadequate response, then you could file a complaint with the ICO. 

If the ICO does investigate a company data breach, they have the power to issue monetary penalties. However, the ICO doesn’t award compensation to those affected. 

What Could You Be Awarded If Your Data Is Breached Via WhatsApp?

Using the information from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), we have created a table of the different forms of injuries that you could suffer as a result of a data breach. We have also included the compensation bracket for the various injuries. Solicitors that are supporting people who have suffered in a data breach would use these guidelines to evaluate the amount of compensation based on the claimant’s psychological injuries. 

The figures shown in the table are collected from the Judicial College Guidelines that were produced in April 2022. 

Psychological Injuries Compensation brackets Injury description
Severe General Psychiatric Damage £54,830 to £115,730 There are severe problems that impact daily function and relationships.
Severe Anxiety Disorder £59,860 to £100,670 Symptoms that are permanent and largely impact daily life.
Moderately Severe General Psychiatric Damage £19,070 to £54,830 There are less significant problems, but are extreme enough to cause continuing issues.
Moderately Severe Anxiety Disorder £23,150 to £59,860 There would be a significant disability caused by these symptoms.
Moderate General Psychiatric Damage £5,860 to £19,070 Even though there is a visible improvement, there are still effects.
Moderate Anxiety Disorder £8,180 to £23,150 Symptoms but the person would be mostly recovered.
Less Severe General Psychiatric Damage £1,540 to £5,860 A full recovery, but the extent of the injuries will be taken into account.
Less Severe Anxiety Disorder £3,950 to £8,180 A full recovery has been achieved but there is still some minor effects

Types of Damages 

  • Non-material damages – compensation focusing on the psychological injuries that you have sustained. 
  • Material damages – compensation focusing on the financial losses that have been incurred. This includes both current and any future impact. 

The ways in which compensation can be separated are in the terms of damages. When talking about your claim with your solicitor, they can inform you about which damages are more suitable for your claim. 

In the past, claimants couldn’t make a claim based on psychological damages alone, the claimant would have to make a claim for both forms of damages. However, this was changed after the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google [2015]. After the outcome of this case, it is now achievable to claim non-material damages after suffering a data breach. You can claim for both damages or either. 

The amount of compensation you receive for non-material damages and material damages can vary depending on different factors. For non-material damages, it depends on the form of the harm you have suffered and how severe the damage has been on you. 

Could A No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitor Help Me?

No Win No Fee agreements or Conditional Fee Arrangements are used as a way for claimants to pay for the services of their solicitors. This form of agreement can offer financial benefits which include: 

  • An unsuccessful claim would mean that you wouldn’t have to pay the solicitor’s fee.
  • No payment of the fee upfront to your solicitor.
  • No requirement for the fee payment during the claims process.

If your No Win No Fee claim is successful, however, then you would have to pay a fee. This is known as a success fee and is capped by law.

Contact Us Today

If the information in this guide has been useful to you, you can seek further advice from our team of advisors. They are trained to answer any questions that you may have and provide you with information you may need to help proceed with your claim. 

Contact us:

Learn More About What You Can Do After A Data Breach

We have collected a range of internal and external resources that could be useful for you to read through. They are listed below: 

Additionally, we have collected some external sources from other websites, providing you with a wide range of information and background of the information we have presented in this guide. 

If you need any further information about having data breached via WhatsApp, contact us today.

Writer ZS 

Checked by HT