Have you suffered psychological harm or financial damage as a result of a recruitment agency data breach? If so, this guide could help. It will explain what constitutes a personal data breach, the different types of breaches that could affect recruitment agencies, and whether you’re eligible to seek compensation.
Additionally, this guide will provide information on the steps you can take should a data breach occur, such as the evidence you can gather to support your potential claim.
If you would like to speak to our advisors for free legal advice, they are available 24/7 to answer your questions. They can also determine the validity of your claim and connect you to a solicitor from our panel to represent your claim. Talk to our advisors today by:
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- What Is A Recruitment Agency Data Breach?
- Types Of Data Breaches Which Could Affect Recruitment Agencies
- What Personal Data Could A Recruitment Agency Hold?
- How To Claim For A Recruitment Agency Data Breach
- Recruitment Agency Data Breach Claims Calculator
- Contact Our Team For Help And Assistance
The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) sits alongside the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) to set out the responsibilities a data controller and data processor have to protect your personal data. The DPA was updated after the UK left the European Union.
Under the UK GDPR, recruitment agencies fit the role of data controllers. This means that they decide the purpose for processing your personal data. Data controllers must adhere to data protection law. However, in some cases, they might fail to do so resulting in your personal data being compromised.
According to the UK GDPR, a personal data breach is a security incident in which the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of your personal data. This can involve your personal data being altered, lost or destroyed unlawfully or accidentally. It could also involve your personal data being disclosed or accessed without authorisation.
However, you can only make a claim for a recruitment agency data breach if you can prove that:
- Your personal data was breached as a result of positive wrongful conduct on the part of the recruitment agency
- You suffered psychological harm or financial damage as a result of the breach.
For more information on whether you’re eligible to claim, contact our advisors today.
Some examples of personal data breaches that could affect recruitment agencies include:
- Malware or ransomware attacks: As data controllers, a recruitment agency should have adequate cyber security policies in place. If they do not, this could result in cyber criminals gaining unlawful access to personal data through malware or other cyber attacks.
- Incorrect use of blind carbon copy (BCC): BCC is a feature used when emailing multiple recipients. When BCC is used, the email addresses of the recipients are hidden to ensure their anonymity. If a mass email is sent out without using BCC, this could expose the email addresses of all of the recipients, which constitutes a personal data breach.
- Sending data to the wrong recipient: For example, if a client informs a recruitment agency that they have a new address but the agency fails to update this information, this could lead to the new tenant receiving a letter containing personal data about someone else.
Not all incidents of a data breach will lead to someone being able to make a claim. You must be able to prove that you were financially or psychologically impacted by a breach that was caused by an organisations failings.
To find out whether you could make a recruitment agency data breach, contact our advisors today.
Personal information is defined as information that can be used to identify you either directly. It is also information that is processed in combination with information that can directly identify you. Examples include:
- Email address
- Phone number
- IP address
- Bank details
- Credit card information
- Debit card information
Recruitment agencies could hold some types of this personal data about you. If it’s breached, it can impact you in a variety of ways. For example, if your personal data is compromised, you could experience a psychological impact such as stress, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Additionally, you could experience a financial impact if your bank details are compromised.
However, should you hold a valid claim, you could seek compensation for the impact the breach has had on you. Call us for more information.
There are certain steps you can take when making a recruitment agency data breach claim. For example, you could contact the organisation. The communication you have with them can be used as evidence to support your claim. However, if they fail to respond, or if their response is unsatisfactory, you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The ICO is an independent government body tasked with enforcing data protection law. Data controllers must report the data protection breach to the ICO within 72 hours if the breach has affected a data subjects rights and freedoms. Additionally, they must notify you of the breach without undue delay.
The ICO may decide to investigate the data breach and can take enforcement action, such as issuing fines if necessary. You can use any findings from their investigation as evidence to support your case.
If your recruitment agency data breach succeeds your settlement could comprise:
- Material damages: Material damages relate to any financial harm you have suffered due to the breach. For example, if a cyber criminal found access to your credit card details, this could lead to damage to your credit score and fraudulent purchases.
- Non-material damages: These relate to any harm you may have suffered to your mental health as a result of the breach. For example, if a recruitment agency data breach has caused you stress, anxiety, or depression.
A document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) sets out compensation brackets that correspond to different injuries. These compensation brackets are often referred to by solicitors to help them value the non-material damages portion of your settlement.
The table below includes compensation brackets as set out by the 2022 edition of the JCG.
Injury Compensation Notes
Severe general mental damage (a) £54,830 to £115,730 The person will have difficulties surrounding general life including working ability and maintaining relationships and a very poor prognosis.
Moderately severe mental damage (b) £19,070 to £54,830 The prognosis is more optimistic than in severe cases but several issues still remain.
Moderate mental damage (c) £5,860 to £19,070 The prognosis is good and significant improvement will have been made.
Less severe mental damage (d) £1,540 to £5,860 The awarded payout will be influence by the time period of the disability and how much it affects daily activities including sleep patterns.
Severe anxiety disorder (a) £59,860 to £100,670 The injured person may be prevented from working at all or to a level resembling pre-trauma, and all parts of their life will be impacted badly.
Moderately severe anxiety disorder (b) £23,150 to £59,860 Where the prognosis might slightly improve with the help of a professional but there may be continuing disabling symptoms in the future.
Moderate anxiety disorder (c) £8,180 to £23,150 Some recovery has taken place with minor symptoms persisting.
Less severe anxiety disorder (d) £3,950 to £8,180 Where a nearly full recovery has been made within a couple of years with only minor symptoms continuing.
Since the Court of Appeal ruling in Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc. (2015), you can now claim compensation for non-material damages alone, without having suffered any financial harm.
If you would like more information on what data breach compensation you may be able to receive when you make a recruitment agency data breach claim, contact our advisors today.
Before making a recruitment agency data breach claim, we encourage you to get in touch with our advisors. They can tell you whether you have grounds for a claim and answer any of your questions. If your claim is determined to be valid you may be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.
Our panel of solicitors offer a type of No Win No Fee service otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
A solicitor offering their services on this basis requires no upfront costs or costs while your claim is ongoing. Additionally, if your claim fails, you won’t pay for their services. If your claim succeeds, you will be charged a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation. This is called a success fee. Further details of the fee can be found in the agreement you sign before your claim proceeds.
If you believe you could benefit from free legal advice, get in touch with our advisors today by:
Please see our other informative guides for more information on data breach claims:
- Solicitor Data Breach Compensation Claims
- Breaches Of Medical Data Claims
- Social Services Data Breach Compensation Claims
We have also included:
Contact our advisors today for more information on making a recruitment agency data breach claim.
Written by JE
Edited by MMI