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MyFitnessPal data breach – know your rights Step-by-step guide to claiming data protection act compensation

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Last week it was revealed that MyFitnessPal was breached. Affecting 150 million users, the scale of the breach makes it one of the largest data hacks in history.

What data has been stolen?

The data stolen includes usernames, email addresses and scrambled passwords for both the MyFitnessPal app and the website.

An email from MyFitnessPal to affected users said that on March 25, 2018, Under Armour - the maker of the app - became aware that during February of this year an unauthorised party acquired data associated with MyFitnessPal user accounts. Once informed, Under Armour said that it "quickly took steps to determine the nature and scope of the issue". It also said that it is working with leading data security firms to assist in its investigation; and that it has notified and is coordinating with law enforcement authorities.

Users have also been given advice on how they can protect their data. However, this could be too little too late.

What can criminals do with this stolen data?

With enough information, cyber criminals can apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts. And, while in this case bank details and home addresses were not put at risk, there is a lot of information that can be collected from an email account.

Signs that your data has been stolen include:

  • Bills or emails showing goods or services you haven't ordered
  • Unfamiliar transactions or suspicious activity on your account
  • An unexpected dip in your credit score
  • Unsolicited communications that ask for your personal data or refer you to a web page asking for personal data.

To protect yourself from cyber criminals, make sure you follow the advice provided by MyFitnessPal. In particular, change your password and avoiding clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails.

Step-by-step guide to data protection act compensation

If you have had your data stolen, it is also essential that you know your rights.

  1. If you have suffered damage or distress caused by an organisation breaching any part of the Data Protection Act, you have a right to claim compensation
  2. You can make a claim against a wide range of private organisations and businesses already fined by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
  3. 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 compensation, it does have the power to impose hefty fines on organisations in breach of their duties
  4. At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we can help you to claim data protection act compensation. We make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible in the shortest possible time
  5. To claim compensation, you must be able to prove that you suffered as a result of the breach. This includes financial and medical harm, as well as anguish and anxiety. In many cases, a violation will not cause damage but will cause distress. This could be especially true in this case should personal fitness and health data be exposed
  6. Until recently, a person who suffered damage might have had their compensation increased to take into account any associated distress, but in most cases compensation would not have been awarded for distress alone. However, a recent ruling has paved the way for those affected by data breaches to claim damages for distress, even if they have not suffered any financial loss.

It is vital to hold large companies to account to ensure better data protection processes are put in place. So, if you have been affected by the MyFitnessPal breach we recommend that you inform the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) about your concerns ASAP.

In addition, if you are a MyFitnessPal user and are worried that your data has been accessed and exploited, you should get in touch with Hayes Connor Solicitors. We will let you know when your claim for data protection act compensation can be made and help you get the redress you deserve. We will also be able to advise you on what to do while waiting for the investigation's findings.