HIV Data Breach Compensation Claims

If your HIV data was breached, you may be wondering if you could claim compensation. If the breach was a result of wrongful conduct on the part of the data controller or data processor, then you may be eligible to claim.

This guide will explain how your medical data could be breached while providing information on what evidence you can provide to validate your claim. We will also touch on what you could claim following a breach of your medical data. You may be able to claim for both the financial and psychological effects of the breach, which we will discuss further in this guide.

Working with a No Win No Fee solicitor may be of interest to you for your medical records data breach claim. We will discuss these agreements in more detail in this guide and will explain how a solicitor from our panel could assist you in making your claim. If you have any questions, reach out to our advisors today. To get in touch:

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Can I claim if my HIV data is breached?

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Breach Of Medical Data?
  2. How Could Your HIV Data Be Breached?
  3. When Has HIV Data Been Breached In The Past?
  4. How To Deal With A Breach Of Your HIV Data
  5. My HIV Data Was Breached, What Could I Claim?
  6. No Win No Fee Claims For HIV Data Breaches

What Is A Breach Of Medical Data?

A personal data breach is a security incident which affects the integrity, availability and confidentiality of your personal data. Medical professionals, employers and other organisations that handle your personal data must follow the procedures set out by data protection law.

The Data Protection Act (2018) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) outlines that all companies must have a lawful reason for holding and processing data, as well as the eligibility for making a personal data breach claim. In order to make a claim, you must be able to prove that:

  • The failings of the data controller or processor caused the personal data breach
  • You suffered harm as a result of the breach
  • Your personal data was included in the breach

Data controllers decide how and why to use your data. Data processors process your data on behalf of the data controller.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent UK body that holds organisations accountable for their actions by investigating and imposing fines. However, you cannot make a claim through the ICO. Read on to see how you can make a claim after suffering harm following a personal data breach.

How Could Your HIV Data Be Breached?

Data breaches can occur through a variety of means. Some examples of how your HIV data could be breached include:

  • Verbal disclosure: A medical professional verbally shares your personal data with an undisclosed third party.
  • Inadequate disposal: For example, your pharmacist may incorrectly dispose of your prescription request by failing to shred or redact your personal information. 
  • Outdated records: Medical staff fail to record your information correctly, leading to emails that contain personal data such as your medical records being sent to the wrong address or texts sent to the wrong number.
  • Human error: One example of human error could be if a human resources employee sent a batch email, but forgot to use the blind carbon copy (BCC) feature

You must be able to demonstrate that wrongful conduct led to your personal data breach. For example, if administration staff working for a private healthcare provider are not trained correctly on how to handle personal data, and this leads to a breach of your personal data, you may be able to claim.

Contact our advisors to learn more about making a claim.

When Has HIV Data Been Breached In The Past?

BBC News reported in 2016 that the NHS was fined £180,000 for breaching the personal data of 781 patients. This information was about the HIV status of patients that visited the 56 Dean Street Clinic in London in 2015. The ICO investigated and discovered a similar breach of personal data in 2010.

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If you’ve suffered from psychological issues after your HIV data was breached, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Our advisors can support you with starting the claims process.

Data Breaches Affecting The Healthcare Sector

The ICO shares data security incident trends as part of its role as an independent data protection watchdog. We’ve included a table below that shows a breakdown of the frequency of cyber versus non-cyber incidents reported in the health sector in 2021/22.

5,632 incidents were reported to the ICO by the data controller during this time.about personal data breach claims, contact our team today.

How To Deal With A Breach Of Your HIV Data

If an organisation suffers a personal data breach that could affect your rights or freedoms, they must inform you without undue delay and must inform the ICO within 72 hours. However, if they do not notify you, you can contact them yourself. For example, you can ask them how this happened, what personal information has been breached and what the next steps are.

You can make a complaint to the ICO if you have not had an adequate response within three months of contacting the data controller. The ICO may investigate the data breach on your behalf and hold the company liable for their misconduct. However, you cannot make a claim for compensation through the ICO.

Contact our advisors today if you’re interested in seeking a settlement after your HIV data is breached.

My HIV Data Was Breached, What Could I Claim?

Following the Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] Court of Appeal case, you can claim material and non-material damage separately. Material damage covers the financial losses you sustain as a result of the breach. For example, if cyber criminals were to steal money from your bank account following a breach of your banking details, you could claim this back under material damage.

Non-material damage relates to the psychological injuries you suffer following a personal data breach. This could be mental injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder, stress, depression, and anxiety.

We’ve included a compensation calculator table below to help give you an idea of what you could receive should your claim succeed. This includes guideline brackets taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), and relates to what you could receive in non-material damage.

Severe Psychiatric Damage (a)£54,830 - £115,730The injured person has a poor prognosis and will struggle with life and relationships.
Moderately Severe Psychiatric Damage (b)£19,070 - £54,830Prognosis is more optimistic, but issues remain regarding relationships, work, and education.
Moderate Psychiatric Damage (c)£5,860 - £19,070The overall prognosis is good following a marked improvement of symptoms by the time of trial.
Less Severe Psychiatric Damage (d)£1,540 - £5,860Daily activities and sleep may be affected, alongside other minor physical symptoms.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a)£59,860 - £100,670Permanent effects prevent the injured person from returning to work and functioning as they did before the trauma.
Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (b)£23,150 - £59,860Significant disability is likely to continue into the future, though recovery is improved with professional assistance.
Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (c)£8,180 - £23,150Continuing effects aren’t disabling, and the injured person will be mostly recovered.
Less Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (d)£3,950 - £8,180Only minor symptoms will persist after recovery that occurs within one to two years.

To get a free estimate of what you could potentially receive, contact our advisors today.

No Win No Fee Claims For HIV Data Breaches

No Win No Fee agreements present a way to receive a solicitor’s help with your claim without paying upfront or ongoing fees. Our panel of solicitors could help you make your case with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement.

When a claim succeeds under a CFA, there is a success fee. This is taken from the settlement total at a legally-capped rate. Your No Win No Fee solicitor will discuss this fee and the other terms of your agreement before you begin your claim.

If your HIV data was breached and you wish to make a claim, contact our team. They can provide free legal advice and can tell you if your claim is valid. If your claim is eligible, they may then connect you with a solicitor from our panel.

To get in touch:

Where To Learn More About Data Protection In Healthcare

You can see more relevant sources below:

Or for more data breach guides, use the following links:

If your HIV data was breached and you would like to make a claim, contact our team today.

Written by JA

Edited by CH