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Breaches of Data Protection Act Claims

Public bodies and organisations store a significant amount of sensitive data and information and are required to keep it secure according to the terms of the Data Protection Act. Where they fail to uphold these obligations, leading to a data breach, you may be in a position to claim compensation.

The Data Protection Act 2018 controls how your personal information and data is used by organisations, businesses and the government. It is the UK’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, any organisation that stores your personal data is required to follow a range of strict rules, known as ‘data protection regulations’. If an organisation is guilty of misusing the data it stores, or fails to keep it secure, this could constitute a breach of the Data Protection Act.

Breaches of Data Protection Act rules may occur if an organisation:

  • Stores inaccurate information
  • Holds data for longer than necessary
  • Mistakenly makes confidential information public
  • Experiences a cyber-attack
  • Uses data outside of its stated purpose

We understand just how daunting it can be to learn that you have become the victim of a data breach due to an organisation breaking the Data Protection Act. Not only will you be concerned about potential financial and/or identity theft, but you may be left dealing with stress and anxiety for a long time.

If your data has been exposed following a Data Protection Act breach, you may be in a position to claim compensation. This is something our Data Protection Act solicitors at Hayes Connor can help you with.

Our expert, friendly team will be able to carefully review your situation, advising whether you have a valid breach of Data Protection Act claim and answering any questions you may have. If you are not sure whether your information has been misused or mishandled according to the guidelines set out in the Data Protection Act, this is something we can find out for you.

Why work with Hayes Connor?

At Hayes Connor, our expert team strictly specialises in supporting victims of data breaches. Unlike many other firms who may offer to help with breaches of the Data Protection Act, we have a wealth of combined expertise and experience in handling these types of claims.

We are one of the UK’s largest and most experienced teams of dedicated data breach experts, which means we have detailed knowledge of the Data Protection Act and what the consequences of a breach will look like. We know what you are likely to be going through and what actions need to be taken to make things right.

We always strive to make the entire breach of Data Protection Act claims process as straightforward and stress free as possible, while also securing you the maximum compensation. Our data breach experts hold an excellent track record of securing the maximum compensation for our clients, often without the need for court proceedings.

See what our clients say about working with us

Start a breach of Data Protection Act claim today

Think you are entitled to compensation for a breach of the Data Protection Act? Use our simple and secure online claim form to inform us of the details of your situation and our team will be in touch shortly to let you know whether we can help.

To speak to a member of our team about pursuing breach of Data Protection Act compensation, please call us on 0330 041 5137.

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Breaches of Data Protection Act FAQs

What happens if a company breaches the Data Protection Act?

If a company breaches the Data Protection Act, and your data is subsequently exposed, various actions will typically take place.

Where a breach of the Data Protection Act occurs, a company is legally obligated to report the incident to the relevant authorities, including the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), as well as getting in touch with anyone who has likely been affected.

Unfortunately, this notification isn’t always as prompt as it should be and even where the organisation does contact you, the relevant email or letter can be easily missed.

If you suspect that you have fallen victim to a Data Protection Act breach, you can check with haveibeenpwned.com to see if any of your email addresses have been exposed and, if so, which organisation is responsible.

Under normal circumstances, you will have to wait for the ICO to investigate and decide whether the Data Protection Act has been breached before you can make a compensation claim.

Once you are aware that a company has breached the Data Protection Act, leading to the exposure of your personal data, you may be in a position to pursue compensation. This does not necessarily mean that you will need to head to court. With the support of our data breach experts, it is often possible to settle on a claim before such proceedings are required.

However, if a company that is guilty of breaching the Data Protection Act does not agree on a settlement, you can apply to court with an action to enforce your rights under data protection law. Where this is the case, our team can provide close support and robust representation to ensure that you receive the level of compensation you deserve.

What are the consequences of breaching the Data Protection Act?

The potential consequences an organisation can face for breaches of the Data Protection Act will depend on a number of factors, including the nature of the incident and what actions could have been taken to prevent the breach from happening.

In addition to paying compensation to anyone affected by a breach of the Data Protection Act, an organisation may face additional punishments from the ICO, including:

  • Warnings and reprimands
  • Temporary or permanent bans on data processing
  • The rectification, restriction or erasure of data
  • Suspension of data transfers

They can also face a maximum fine of £17.5 million, or 4% of annual global turnover (whichever is greater).

How can I find out what data a company has about me?

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, you have a right to find out what information certain organisations store about you. This may include the right to:

  • Be informed about how your data is being used
  • Access personal data
  • Have incorrect data updated
  • Have data erased
  • Stop or restrict the processing of your data
  • Data portability (allowing you to get and reuse your data for different services)
  • Object to how your data is processed in certain circumstances

You can write to the organisation in question to ask for a copy of the information they hold about you. The organisation must give you a copy of the data they hold about you as soon as possible, and within one month at most.

What are some examples of Data Protection Act breaches?

Breaches of the Data Protection Act can come in many forms. Typical breaches often include actions such as:

  • Loss of hard copy notes (devices, hard drives, USBs, etc)
  • Unauthorised access to computer networks
  • Communications being sent to the wrong recipient
  • Email guidelines not being followed (Such as using ‘CC’ instead of ‘BCC’

Breach of data protection act compensation claims can potentially be made in any of these circumstances.

How do I report breaches of the Data Protection Act?

If an organisation has not reported a breach of the Data Protection Act, and you believe that your data has been misused or mishandled, you can bring forward a complaint to the ICO.

The ICO can then investigate your claim and take action if it is found that a breach of the Data Protection Act has occurred.

How to stay safe following a breach of the data protection act

If you have reason to believe that your data has been exposed following a Data Protection Act breach, there are several steps you can take to minimise any risk of further harm:

  1. Contact your bank or credit card company – if you believe any financial details may have been exposed.
  2. Change your passwords – both on any affected accounts and anywhere else you’ve used the same ones.
  3. Get up to date cybersecurity software – this can protect you from being targeted by any cybercriminals who get hold of your data.
  4. Register with the Cifas Protective Registration service – they’ll make sure extra checks are carried out if anyone tries to take out products or services in your name.
  5. Report the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office – they can investigate how the breach happened and take action against the organisation responsible.
  6. Speak to a data breach expert – as well as confirming if you’re entitled to compensation, they can also advise you on having your data removed, so you aren’t at risk from future breaches at the same company.

Find out more about what to do if your data has been stolen in a data breach.

Start your breach of Data Protection Act compensation claim today

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, our Data Protection Act solicitors can help you make a compensation claim, supporting you through the entre process and minimising the impact on you as much as possible.

Simply use the link above to start your claim or you can call us on 0330 041 5137 to discuss your situation.

You can find out more about our expertise and how we handle data breach 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.

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.