My Data Privacy Was Breached By BT, Could I Claim Compensation?
Welcome to our guide exploring evidence and justificatons behinds potential data protection breach claims against BT. We have put this page together specifically for the purpose of helping you to know what you could be entitled to do if a service provider hasn’t protected your data properly.
When a business receives personal information from its customers or employees, they should keep it secure and adhere to certain guidelines. Violating these guidelines could put the customer or employee information at risk of a data breach and all of the potential consequences it could lead to.
Breaking data protection laws could also lead to the company being liable to fines and compensation claims.
If you want to get in touch with us for more information once you have read this guide, you can. Fill out this online enquiry form to get a callback from our advisors at a convenient time for you. Or you can call 0161 696 9685 to speak with one of our advisors right away. Our live chat is open 24/7 too.
Select A Section
- A Guide About Data Protection Breach Claims Against BT
- What Is A Data Breach Claim Against BT?
- How The GDPR Affects Data Sharing
- How Has BT Been Affected By Data Protection Breaches?
- Calculating Compensation Amounts For A Data Breach By BT
- What Material And Non-Material Damages Could I Claim?
- How To Report A Data Breach By A Telecoms Provider
- Make A Data Protection Breach Claim Against BT With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Getting Specialist Help From A Data Breach Solicitor
- What Steps Do You Need To Take When Making A Claim?
- Speak To A Solicitor
- Telecoms Provider Data Breach FAQs
- Where To Learn More
This guide has been put together to fill you in on data protection and your rights. First, we will go over what rules apply to data collection and usage, and how and when a breach could entitle you to make a compensation claim.
After that, we will go through how the process of making a claim works, which will include:
- A rundown of how the calculations of compensation are done.
- What steps you can take before starting a claim.
- What some of the benefits of making your claim through our panel are.
There is also an FAQ section to cover some of the more commonly asked questions about personal data breaches, data breaches at work, and data breaches by companies. If at any point there is something in this guide that you want to know more about, you can always contact our team for advice.
A data breach occurs when there is a breach in security. This leads to the loss, disclosure, accesss, destruction or alteration of personal information. Whether accidental or unlawful, a data breach can have serious consequences.
A data breach claim is essentially a request for compensation to cover the mental and financial suffering you endured because of a data breach. It is made on the basis of providing evidence that the company was responsible for your injuries.
Data breach compensation claims can often be resolved before they reach court. However, if the case does reach court, then you could be represented by a data breach solicitor.
The principles that are laid out in the GDPR are as follows:
- Personal data collected by a company has to be stored securely
- Personal data should be destroyed when the company no longer needs it
- The data has to be accurate, and accessible by the company and the customer
- Only data that the company actually needs can be collected
- Any data collected can only be used for the reasons stated for its collection
- The company has to be able to provide proof that it has met all of these requirements
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) enforces data protection laws in the UK. According to the ICO, BT was given a fine worth £77,000 for breaches of data protection rules. This fine was imposed for being found to have sent over five million emails to customers who had not given their consent to being contacted for marketing purposes.
BT was attempting to use the emails to promote some of its charity initiatives. The ICO found that the emails constituted marketing. Because they’d been sent to customers who hadn’t agreed to receiving marketing emails, the ICO found this to be a breach.
This guide on data protection breach claims against BT aims to give information to help you. If you have any questions about it, why not let us know?
To make a claim with appropriate evidence, there will have to be an assessment of how badly impacted by your data breach you were.
One of the factors that will have to be measured is your mental health. This could be severely impacted by the stress and anxiety stemming from a data breach. This psychological distress could be brought on by the fear of having money stolen from you or having your personal data privacy violated, for example.
To prove that a data breach caused or worsened your psychological injury, an independent medical professional would need to make an assessment. Their assessment could also help you understand how severely your mental health has been impacted. And, if you use the services of a solicitor to claim, the solicitor could use the report from this assessment to value you injuries.
The below compensation table shows how different conditions might be valued, according to the guidelines of the Judicial College. (Solicitors might use these guidelines to help them value conditions and injuries.)
|Severe psychiatric damage||£51,460 to £108,620|
|Moderately severe psychiatric damage||£17,900 to £51,460|
|Moderate psychiatric damage||£5,500 to £17,900|
|Severe PTSD||£56,180 to £94,470|
|Moderately severe PTSD||£21,730 to £56,180|
|Moderate PTSD||£7,680 to £21,730|
|Less severe PTSD||Up to £7,680|
If you can’t see your condition in the table above, reach out to us. Our advisors offer free legal advice and estimates.
Material and non-material damages could make up the compensation in your claim. As we have laid out in the previous section, the non-material damages in a data breach claim cover the impact the data breach had on your mental health.
Material damages cover things like loss of income or loss of money caused by the data breach. This could happen in a number of different ways. You could:
- Be forced to take unpaid leave from work due to stress-induced mental health problems.
- Have money taken from your bank account, if bank details are stolen in a data breach.
- Have your credit card information used to make purchases and transfers if, for example, a cybercrimnal has managed to steal these details in a data breach.
In order to make a claim for material damages, you will have to document all of the financial losses. This is in order to prove that the losses have occurred, as well as to put together a calculation of the amount of money you have lost. You could use:
- Bank statements
- Credit scores
Without this supporting evidence, you may struggle to claim compensation for your financial losses. For information and support in putting together this information, you can call our team of advisors.
Your first step should be to raise the issue with the telecoms provider. They should already have been in contact with you over the data breach if it risked your freedoms and rights.
You could request to speak with the company’s data protection officers. A person is assigned to this role in many organisations. It could give the company the opportunity to rectify and apologise for the situation before things need to go further.
The ICO and data protection breach claims against BT
You can report a telecoms provider’s data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office. The ICO could investigate if you make a complaint, and if they find proof of wrongdoing, they could impose a fine.
However, you should make sure that you make the complaint within three months of the last time you had contact with the company about the data breach. if the complaint is made after this timeframe then the ICO’s decisions may be affected.
If you’d like to make a compensation claim, you wouldn’t necessarily need to conatct the ICO. You could get in touch with us if you have evidence of a valid claim.
Paying solicitor fees upfront is not a practical option for everyone who wants to make a claim. For some, these costs will be unaffordable unless they receive compensation as part of their claim. It could make the claim financially risky for some. You might not wish to take on such a risk, especially if you have lost money due to a data breach.
There is a potential solution.
One way of funding a solicitor without these types of risks is to make a No Win No Fee claim. You and a solicitor would make a special agreement. You would not be liable for paying legal fees before the claim has started. Additionally, you would not be liable for paying any legal fees once the claim is over if the claim has not been successful.
You would also agree that the lawyer would be entitled to a ‘success fee’ if the claim is successful. This success fee comes out of the compensation you are awarded at a minor percentage. It’s capped by law.
By making a No Win No Fee claim agreement with you, a solicitor shares the risk of the claim with you.
It is technically possible for you to represent yourself when making a claim. However, a data breach specialist solicitor should have the qualifications, experience, and legal knowledge needed to carry out a claim with a reasonable chance of success.
Your lawyer could help you:
- Put your case together
- Gather evidence
- Calculate the worth of your compensation
You could benefit from the services of our panel of data breach solicitors if you get in touch with us. They can offer you a No Win No Fee agreement. And they can handle your claim remotely, meaning that you don’t have to worry about where your solicitor is based.
If you would like to make a claim, the first thing you should do to start the process is to make a report to the the company that breached your data privacy. This allows for the possibility of the company offering a resolution before things need to be taken further. It could also act as proof that you attempted to give them this option.
The next step following this could be to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They prefer complaints to be submitted from within the 3 months of your final correspondance on the matter with the services provider. Taking longer than that could affect how they make decisions about your complaint.
Data protection breach claims against BT?
If you endured financial loss or mental harm because of a data breach, you could make a claim. So you could contact us.
You can have a conversation with one of our advisors. They can answer any questions you might have, and let you know what kind of compensation you could be entitled to. And they could explain how the process of claiming works.
If you have evidence of a favourable claim, they could connect you with our panel of solicitors.
If you want to get in touch with us for more information once you have read this guide, you can:
- Fill out this enquiry form to talk to one of our advisors.
- Call 0161 696 9685 to speak with one of our advisors right away.
- Use our live chat to message our advisors now.
What is considered a breach of GDPR?
An example of a breach of the GDPR is when a company has failed to meet its obligations to keep its customer’s data secure.
What are my rights if my data has been breached?
If your personal information has been involved in a data breach that’s caused a risk to your rights and freedoms, you have the right to be told about it. The data controller should do this without undue delay. If you suffer financial loss or emotional distress because of the data breach, you could make a claim.
What is the most common cause of a data breach?
There are various causes of data breaches. They can occur due to human error (such as an employee send an email containing personal information to an unauthorised person).
Data breaches can also be accidental. Cybercriminals may gain access to accounts due to weak password protection, and weak or outdated anti-malware software. It is a company’s responsibility to guard against holes in their data security.
What can I do if my personal data is breached?
If your data privacy has been breached, you could make a complaint to the data protection officer of the relevant organisation. Following that, you could make an ICO report under certain circumstances.
If you suffer financial loss of mental harm, you could speak to us about working with a solicitor to make a compensation claim.
Here are some other guides:
ICO information on security breaches.
How organisations can check if they need to report a data breach: personal data breach assessments
Government data breach guidance.
Our guide to making a claim against your employer for a data breach: Employer Breach Of The Data Protection Act, What Are My Rights?
Our general guide: GDPR data breach claims
Our guide to making a data breach claim against a police force: Police data breach claims
Thanks for reading our guide on the justifications and evidence you might need for potential data protection breach claims against BT.
Written by JY
Edited by RV