My Data Privacy Was Breached By The Home Office, Could I Claim Compensation?
This guide about data protection breach claims against the Home Office aims to give information to help you.
We all should be able to feel safe when allowing other people to use our personal data, especially when we share it with our own government. However, incidences of people’s data security being breached can still occur. This may be through negligence or through deliberate actions, such as those of cybercriminals. If you have been affected mentally or financially by a case like this, then Legal Helpline is here to help.
This guide has been put together to help you understand your options if your data has potentially been breached by the Home Office. Most of all, it explores when you could be entitled to make data protection breach claims, and how our panel of data breach solicitors could help you to make this type of claim.
If you have evidence of a justifiable claim, then feel free to call our advisors using the contact information provided.
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Select A Section
- A Guide On Data Protection Breach Claims Against The Home Office
- What Are Data Protection Breach Claims Against The Home Office?
- The GDPR And The Personal Information Charter
- Examples Of Personal Data Breaches By The UK Home Office
- Calculating Data Breach Compensation Amounts
- Types Of Compensation Awarded To Victims Of Data Breaches
- How To Get Help From The Information Commissioner’s Office
- Make A Data Protection Breach Claim Against The Home Office With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- How A Specialist Solicitor Could Help You
- What Can I Do If My Personal Data Has Been Breached?
- Contact Our Team
- Frequently Asked Questions About Data Breaches
- Where To Learn More
It can be confusing working out what you should do when you find out that your data privacy has been breached. This guide aims to help you understand what your options are. We hope to leave you feeling assured that there are ways to hold data controllers to account for the difficulties they have caused you.
Data controllers are organisations that decide how and why personal information is processed. They can be an employer or provide a service to the public or customers, for example. They collect the personal data of data subjects such as employees, customers or service users. Data controllers sometimes use data processors (such as agencies) to process personal information for them.
Guide On Data Protection Breach Claims Against The Home Office
In this guide, we will explain how data security laws work and what your rights are. This aims to help you to understand what type of situations could be grounds for making a compensation claim.
We will include an explanation of the role of the Information Commissioner’s Office in data protection law and data breach compensation claims. Additionally, we will go over some aspects of the process of making a claim. This includes a rundown of how your compensation can be calculated and the two types of compensation you could be entitled to claim.
We also think you will benefit from knowing what you stand to gain from working with our panel of solicitors. Therefore, we explore:
- No Win No Fee claims
- How solicitors can work remotely
- What solicitors do if the case goes to court
We have included links to other websites and resources, as well as links to other pages on our own website. This is in order to give you the fullest amount of information we can. If there is anything else that you want to know, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation with our advisors.
A data breach is any situation where data security is breached and causes personal information to be:
This would happen accidentally or deliberately, without permission or unlawfully.
A personal data breach results in personal data being compromised or at least put in danger of being compromised. There are a number of different ways in which this could happen.
Below are just a couple of examples of how personal data could be breached.
- Cyber-attacks by which cyber-criminals are able to access personal data due to insufficient cyber-security
- Sharing personal data information with other organisations without your permission or without a lawful exception
- Allowing access to physical paperwork containing personal information, for example by failing to destroy such documents after they’ve finished serving the purposes they were collected for
A data protection breach claim is a type of legal action that you could be entitled to take following a data breach that’s affected you. You would need to prove you’ve suffered financial loss or mental harm due to the breach to be able to claim.
The key principles of data protection are set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR aims to protect the anonymity and security of people’s personal data. Though it is EU legislation, it is still valid in the UK because it was enacted into law through the Data Protection Act 2018. The principles set out in the GDPR are as follows:
- The processing and collection of personal data should only be done fairly, legally, and transparently
- Personal data can only be processed for the stated purposes of doing so
- Collecting data should be limited to only the kinds of data that the company needs
- Any personal data should be collected and processed accurately and updated
- Personal data that has served its purpose and is no longer needed should be deleted or destroyed
- All personal information should be kept secure and accessible only to those who need access
- It is up to the organisation to be able to prove that the measures needed to meet these criteria have been taken
The Home Office’s EU settlement scheme is one area that seems to have been affected by personal data breaches. Between April and August of 2019, it was reported that over 100 data breaches occurred. Some breaches involved passports being lost and ID cards being sent to the wrong addresses.
In April 2019, the Home Office also experienced a likely breach of data protection due to error. 240 personal email addresses of EU citizens seeking settled status were shared via email. The data subjects had not authorised this. The email addresses weren’t put into the ‘blind CC’ box as would’ve been required.
If you can prove you’ve suffered mentally or financially, why not contact us about potential data protection breach claims against the Home Office?
The amount of data breach compensation you could be entitled to claim may not be fully accurate until the process of claiming has begun in earnest. However, you can still work out how much your compensation could be worth. This is done by assessing your situation and assigning a financial value to it.
For example, you could be awarded compensation for the stress and anxiety you have suffered because of the breach and any lasting harm to your mental health this has caused.
As part of the data breach claims process, you should have a medical assessment to receive a diagnosis of the state of your mental health. The assessment aims to resolve two matters:
- How severely you’ve mentally suffered due to the data breach (if at all)
- Whether the data breach caused or worsened your mental injuries
The amount of compensation you could receive could be greater the more severe your condition has been because of the breach.
In the compensation table below we’ve listed some examples of the classifications of different severities of psychological harm. You can also see the amounts of compensation you could be entitled to receive for them.
These figures are quoted from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a publication that lawyers can use when valuing 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 compensation table above or aren’t sure where they’d lie, get in touch. Our advisors give free, accurate estimates.
There are two types of compensation you could receive for the harm suffered as a result of a data breach. Those are material and non-material damages.
Material damages relate to harm done to your health, such as mental health damage as outlined in the section above.
Non-material damages are related to the harm done to you financially. If a personal data breach causes you to lose money, then you could be compensated for it to the equivalent amount that you lost.
in order to recover financial losses, you’d need to provide proof. For example, if a data breach has caused someone to commit identity theft and take out credit cards in your name, proof could involve relevant correspondence with your bank and credit scores.
This guide on data protection breach claims against the Home Office aims to help you but if you have any questions, why not reach out to us?
One option that you could pursue before starting a claim is to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The ICO is the regulatory body for data security law in the UK. They are responsible for investigating and taking action over data breaches.
You could lodge a complaint about the data breach with them. However, you should first make a complaint to the company that has allowed your data to be breached. This gives them the opportunity to try and resolve the issue. If this doesn’t yield results, then within three months of the last contact you had with them, you could make your complaint to the ICO.
You need to do it within three months because, after this time has elapsed, the ICO’s decisions can be impacted. Importantly, making an ICO complaint is not mandatory.
Once you have become aware of the breach and its effect on your mental health or finances, you could seek our advice.
If you’re able to make a data breach claim but are worried about the costs of taking on a solicitor because you’d have to pay them if the case loses, then consider a No Win No Fee claim.
This is a type of claim where you would not have to pay for your solicitor’s fees if the claim isn’t successful. If the claim is successfully resolved, you would pay the solicitor a success fee. This would be a small percentage of the data breach compensation, and it is capped by law.
A No Win No Fee agreement can benefit many claimants. This can be because it is less financially risky in regards to losing money on legal fees.
It is also a good indicator that your lawyer is confident of a successful outcome. That’s because a No Win No Fee agreement means their fees aren’t paid if the claim loses.
It’s not necessary to use the services of a data breach solicitor to claim. However, it can be beneficial.
Finding the right solicitor is important. Your solicitor will be the one who helps you to put together your evidence and your case. They will calculate the worth of the compensation you could be entitled to receive.
They can communicate and negotiate with the defendant. And, if necessary, they could represent you in court, though these cases don’t commonly go to court. The right data security lawyer would have legal qualifications, knowledge of the law, and experience.
If you work with our panel of data breach lawyers, then you could experience several benefits including:
- All of our panel’s claims can be done on a No Win No Fee basis
- They can handle your claim from anywhere in the country
You’d be able to work with a lawyer from our panel remotely if it’s easier for you.
We would advise you to first make a complaint to the organisation that has caused a breach of your data privacy. They may offer you an apology and an explanation, as well as possibly offering you some other form of restitution.
If this is enough to satisfy you, then you are free to consider the matter resolved. If it isn’t, then you could report the matter to the ICO as outlined in the above sections.
However, the ICO can’t help you seek compensation for the psychological or financial suffering a data breach causes you. For that, you can come to us and speak with our advisors about making a data breach claim.
If you have evidence of a valid claim, the first step will involve you having a consultation with one of our advisors. Our advisors will use their legal expertise to tell you whether or not your situation justifies making a claim. And if you have a favourable claim, they could connect you with our panel of solicitors.
To get in touch, see our below contact details.
You’ve now almost finished this guide looking at potential data protection breach claims against the Home Office. Our advisors are available 24/7 and give free legal advice. You’ll be under no obligation to proceed with our services. To get in touch, use any of the methods below.
- Phone call: 0161 696 9685
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What is a notifiable data breach?
A notifiable data breach is a personal data breach that poses a reasonable chance of threatening data subjects’ rights and freedoms. All notifiable data breaches should be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
What are my rights if my data has been breached?
If your personal data privacy has been breached, you have the right to pursue a number of different options. You could start by making a complaint to the company that has breached your data, or you could make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office. You may also have the right to make a No Win No Fee data breach claim if you endured financial loss or mental harm. Contact us to find out if you could do this.
What can I do if my data has been breached?
If your privacy data privacy has been breached then you could have the right to make a compensation claim, providing you’ve suffered mentally or financially. If you need further advice and guidance, call us for a free consultation.
Do I need to report a data breach to the ICO?
Not all data breaches necessarily have to be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office. It is only mandatory to report a data breach if it is likely to pose a threat to the data subjects’ freedoms and rights. If you are uncertain about whether or not to report a data breach to the ICO, then you should visit the ICO website for more information.
Read the ICO’s definition of personal data breaches
Read the Government’s advice on making a complaint about data protection.
The Government also has an explanation of the GDPR.
Thank you for reading our guide exploring potential justifications behind data protection breach claims against the Home Office.
Written by JY
Edited by RV