Data protection complaints increase leading to possible rise of GDPR breach compensation
According to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) - the watchdog responsible for regulating data protection laws in the UK - the number of reported data protection complaints has almost doubled since April this year. If the regulator upholds these complaints, there could be a corresponding rise in GDPR breach compensation claims.
Common causes for these data violations include:
- Data sent to the wrong recipient
- Loss of theft of paperwork
- Failure to redact data
- Failure to use bcc when sending an email.
The increase in data breach complaints has happened since the introduction of the GDPR on May 25th. This saw more robust data protection laws come into force. GDPR is the most significant change to data privacy regulations in over two decades. The new rules are designed to:
- Boost the rights of individuals by giving them more control over their information
- Put more limitations and responsibilities on how organisations can handle personal data
- Make data protection (including data breaches) more transparent.
The GDPR also saw the introduction of tough penalties for data breaches. In fact, companies who fail to put adequate data protection processes in place and subsequently suffer a breach could face fines of up to £20,000,000 or 4% of their total global annual turnover for the last financial year.
While the ICO does not award GDPR breach compensation to victims, if a company is found guilty of a data violation this can strengthen an individual's claim.
According to the ICO:
- 4,214 data protection complaints were made in July
- 3,098 data protection complaints were made in June
- 2,310 data protection complaints made in May
- 2,165 complaints were made in April.
The figures indicate that more and more people are becoming aware of their data protection rights. This makes sense as there have been many high-profile data protection scandals over the last few months. For example, at Hayes Connor Solicitors we are currently pursuing cases against:
- Emma's Diary. Emma's Diary sold its users' information to Experian's marketing division. This data was then used to create a database which the Labour Party manipulated to profile new mums in the run-up to the 2017 General Election. Find out more about the Emma's Diary data breach
- Dixons Carphone. The Dixons Carphone or Carphone Warehouse data breach took place in 2017. It resulted in 10 million customer records being accessed from Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores. The details stolen by cyber criminals include names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and email addresses. All of which can be used by cybercriminals to commit further crimes. Find out more about the Carphone Warehouse data breach
- Ticketmaster has admitted that thousands of UK customers have been put at risk due to third-party software on their website. This has since been removed but not before the software accessed a number of customers' personal and financial details. Find out more about the Ticketmaster data breach
- Last year, Equifax warned that up to 400,000 UK consumers might have had their personal details stolen. The data included names, address, dates of birth, and credit card numbers. Find out more about the Equifax data breach.
If you have been affected by any of these cases, or if you want to make a GDPR breach compensation claim against another organisation, let us know.
Making a GDPR breach compensation claim
If you have suffered damage or distress caused by an organisation breaching any part of the Data Protection Act (the UK's interpretation of the GDPR), you have a right to claim compensation.
You can make a GDPR breach compensation claim if you have struggled emotionally following a data breach, even if you have not experienced any financial loss.
With enough information, cybercriminals can steal your identity, apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts. And just the thought of this happening can cause emotional distress. So why shouldn't you seek compensation for this failure to look after your information correctly?
At Hayes Connor Solicitors our initial assessment is always free of charge. If we believe you have a substantial, complex case, we'll go through your options with you and may be able to act for you on aNO WIN, NO FEEbasis. For smaller claims,our quick assessment form will help you to start your GDPR breach compensation claim, quickly and easily.
Our expert data breach compensation solicitors make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible in the shortest possible time. However, with strict time limits in place for making data breach claims (currently all breaches going back six years could be subject to a claim) it's essential to act now.