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Data Breach Claims

In today’s digital world, your personal data is a valuable commodity. However, all too often negligent business processes, human error and cybercrime mean this sensitive data isn’t as protected as it should be.

If your data is allowed to fall into the wrong hands, it can have very serious consequences, including financial losses, emotional distress, and loss of privacy.

Where your financial or personal information has been exposed due to negligence on the part of a business or other organisation you trusted to keep your data safe, it can be very upsetting and frustrating. Many people are confused about what their rights are and what to do next.

If your data has been exposed due to security failures by an organisation that held your personal data, you have a right to claim make a data breach claim.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we have decades of combined experience claiming compensation for people who have had their data exposed due to another party’s negligence. We can help you make a data breach claim for your financial losses, emotional distress, and loss of privacy.

We understand that making a data protection claim can be stressful, especially while you are dealing with the emotional impact of having your data exposed. That’s why we make sure you always know what’s happening with your case and remove the jargon from the process to keep things as simple and stress-free as possible.

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Where we believe you have a case for claiming data breach compensation, we may be able to act for you on a no win, no fee basis, removing any financial risk for the process of making a claim.

Think you are entitled to data breach compensation? Use our simple and secure online claim form to share the details of your situation and we will get back to you shortly to let you know whether we can help.

We can help you to claim GDPR compensation for data protection breaches, data leaks, human rights breaches, and the misuse of personal information.

To speak to a member of our team now about what to do if your data has been exposed, and how to make a data protection claim, please call us on 0330 041 5131.

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Types of data protection claims we can assist with

A data breach can occur in any industry, business, school, organisation, or government department (e.g., the police, the NHS, and the social services).

Most often, breaches happen in service-based industries where there is direct contact with the public. Over the last few years, mobile phone networks, tech firms, retailers, and banks have all hit the headlines due to data security breaches.

We can help you make a data protection compensation claim in situations including:

  • Where your privacy has been compromised as part of a whistle-blowing operation.
  • Where your personal information has been misused or mishandled.
  • Where your private data has been the victim of cybercrime.
  • Where your data has been inadvertently lost or leaked.
  • Where an organisation broke the law and used your information for journalism, artistic or literary purposes without your permission.
  • Corporate data breach claims where businesses have had their company data leaked (e.g., banking information, business plans, etc.).
  • Where your personal data has been sent to a third party without your express permission.
  • Where an organisation failed to maintain up-to-date, accurate information about you and this caused you damage.

Making a data protection claim

Who can claim compensation for a data breach?

You can claim data breach compensation if an organisation has failed to protect your personal data – regardless of whether or not you have suffered as a result of the breach. However, where you have experienced financial, medical harm, anguish or anxiety, we can make a more significant case.

How to start a data protection claim

When you contact our team, we will advise you on whether you have a valid data breach claim and will be pleased to answer any questions you might have. If you are not sure whether your information has been misused or mishandled, we can find this out for you and determine if you can sue for a GDPR breach.

Once we establish that you have grounds for data protection compensation, we will take care of the whole claims process for you.

Our team will contact the organisation you hold responsible for failing to protect your data. Where we believe you were let down by their security processes, we will work tirelessly to make a data protection claim, getting you the compensation you deserve.

To get the GDPR claims process started, you can use our simple and secure online claim form to share the details of your situation and we will get back to you shortly to let you know whether you will be eligible to claim data breach compensation.

To speak to a member of our team now about what to do if you have been a victim of data protection negligence, please call us on 0330 041 5131.

What can you claim for following a data breach?

Financial losses

A data breach can lead to both financial and/or identity theft, and the result of either of these can be devastating. With enough information, cybercriminals can apply for credit in the name of a data breach victim, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts.


Even if you haven’t lost out financially after a data breach, this doesn’t mean that there is “no harm done.” A personal data breach is a 21st-century version of being burgled. If a criminal came into your home and stole your private information, you would be distressed.

So why should you feel any less upset at having your online data taken?

Being a data breach victim can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. Common effects include trouble sleeping, as well as feeling ill, unsettled, or confused. Stress can also affect your friends, your family, and your job.

Are you owed compensation for data protection negligence?

If you have suffered damage or distress caused by an organisation breaching any part of the Data Protection Act, you have a right to make a data breach claim.

You can claim data breach compensation if an organisation has failed to protect your personal data – regardless of whether or not you have suffered as a result of the breach. However, where you have experienced financial, medical harm, anguish or anxiety, we can make a more significant case.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we’ve been helping people to do just that for over 50 years, so we know what it takes to make a successful data breach compensation claim.

If your data has been breached in a way that has caused you damage or distress, we can seek compensation on your behalf. Likewise, if you suspect your data has been mishandled or lost, we can check whether this is the case, and if so, start the data breach claims process.

The full impact of a data breach is not always immediate

Having dealt with hundreds of different types of data breach cases, we know that the full impact is often not apparent until months after the initial violation.

We have seen cases where the financial losses only start to occur three to six months later. This is because stolen data is batched and used over time.

The impact of UK data breaches goes much further than financial losses. We’ve seen cases where experiencing a data breach has resulted in adverse life events. For example, having to move to a new house or area, losing a job, relationship stress and separation, and dislocation from friends and family. All of which can lead to a diagnosable psychological injury. Like financial losses, this often happens months after the initial breach.

Individual data breaches can have a big impact

It’s almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or turn on the television without hearing about how a hacker has targeted some big company. Usually, with thousands of customers put at risk. But, while these cases are important, every day, individual data breaches in the UK are causing misery and upset to people right across the country.

While these incidents don’t make the headlines, for those involved, the experience can be devastating.

Crucially, in most cases, these data breaches aren’t caused by scammers trying to hack big businesses, but by simple human errors. At Hayes Connor, our experts deal with a significant volume of data breach cases each day. During our work, we see many different types of claims. So, we know how data breaches can affect people in different ways.

We are helping individuals claim data breach compensation for violations of the Data Protection Act. We help with data breach claims against:

What is the information commissioner’s office?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent authority, set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, and to promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. While the ICO does not award data breach compensation, it does have the power to impose hefty fines on organisations in breach of their duties.

You have the right to ask the ICO to assess if an organisation breached the Data Protection Act.

If the ICO believes that the organisation in question broke the law, you can use this information in court to help prove your GDPR or data protection claim. However, the judge may not agree with the ICO’s view. While you can make a data breach compensation claim against a company without first going to the ICO, we would always recommend this as a first step.

You may not know that your data has been breached until you hear that a company has been fined by the ICO. In such cases, it’s worth finding out whether your data was put at risk, because, if so, you may have a claim for compensation.

If you have already contacted the ICO about a potential breach, Hayes Connor Solicitors can still investigate your GDPR claim. We will work with the ICO to gather as much evidence as possible to help our clients succeed.

Common questions about data breaches

How can I check if my data has been breached?

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018, organisations responsible for a data breach are required to notify you if your data may have been exposed.

However, there is always a risk that an organisation fails to meet this legal obligation, and, even in cases where they do, the relevant information can be easily missed. It is often the case the data breach victims only hear about a data breach after it is reported by the ICO.

If you suspect that you have been the victim of a data breach (such as if you are getting an unusually high number of spam emails and/or cold calls), you can check with haveibeenpwned.com to see whether any email addresses you used have been compromised in a data breach.

If you are still unsure whether your details have been exposed in a data breach, our data breach claims experts can work alongside you to help find this out.

What should I do if I have a data breach?

It is likely the organisation responsible for the data breach will inform you if your data was affected, but just to be sure, you can contact them and confirm whether the breach actually occurred and how your data was affected.

If you’re unhappy with their response or need further advice, you can report the organisation to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), who can investigate your data breach claim and take action against those who misuse your personal data.

Also, if you lost money as part of the breach, you should tell your bank and report it to the UK’s cybercrime reporting centre, Action Fraud, so that it is logged as a criminal case.

Once you have the information you need from the organisation or the ICO, you can instruct a data breach solicitor to take your case if you feel the data you have lost justifies taking legal action against the organisation. This is where the process of making a data protection claim is likely to start.

How serious is a data breach?

Depending on the number of people affected by the breach and the types of information lost, data breaches can be very serious. Even when the data is not financial, criminals can still use the data to their own benefit and to your detriment.

For example, if the criminal has your name, phone number and address, they might be able to use that to impersonate you over the phone when speaking to your bank or take a loan out in your name.

Is a data breach a criminal offence?

Yes, under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998, unlawfully obtaining or accessing someone’s personal data is a criminal offence. The offence is punishable by a fine of up to £5,000 if the case is tried in magistrate’s (civil) court or an unlimited fine if tried in crown (criminal) court.

What happens when a company has a data breach?

When a company or organisation suffers a data breach, customers, clients and staff members’ financial records or personal data can be put in jeopardy.

Once the company has become aware of the breach, they have to report it to the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours. If this breach has the chance to adversely affect individuals’ rights and freedoms, the organisation has to inform those individuals as well.

The decision to report the breach to the individuals involved is usually based on whether the data could lead to:

  • financial loss
  • discrimination
  • identity theft or fraud
  • damage to reputation

If the organisation doesn’t report the breach to the ICO or the individuals when they should, they could be fined up to 2% of their global turnover and a further 4% for the breach itself.

Who is liable when a data breach occurs?

Generally, the data owner – the business that provides a service or product to customers – is considered liable for data breaches. This is even the case when the breach happens because of the security failures of the data holder – the third-party responsible for housing the data.

This is because, under current data protection legislation, the data owner or controller must follow the guidelines of the legislation and undertake risk assessments to ensure that the location in which they store their data is secure and has suitable privacy measures.

However, if a data owner has taken all the necessary steps required to ensure that the data holder has adequate security, and they can prove that the data holder compromised its own security through a faulty update or some other such method, the holder may prove to be liable instead of the owner.

Start your data breach claim today

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we can help you make a data breach claim. We can also steer you through the aftermath of a data breach – minimising the impact on you as much as possible.

In most cases, data breaches in the UK happen because of a failure to implement reasonable and robust processes. So, claiming compensation isn’t just in your best interests, it’s also the only way organisations will be persuaded to take their responsibilities seriously and make the necessary improvements.

With strict time limits in place for making data breach claims, it’s important to act now. You can call our data breach solicitors today on 0330 041 5131 or fill out an online claim form.

You can find out more about our expertise and how we handle claims here. To have your claim assessed for free, you can use our secure online claim form. Or to speak to a member of our team, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0330 041 5137.