Examples Of Data Breach Compensation Case Studies

Throughout this guide, we look at some data breach compensation case studies based on real life examples. The incidents we discuss have been reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is an independent body set up to uphold the information rights and freedoms of UK citizens. It is able to take enforcement action, including issuing fines, if organisations breach data protection laws.

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) are two pieces of data protection legislation that data controllers and data processors need to adhere to in order to protect the personal data of data subjects. Controllers set the purpose and means for processing and if they don’t process the data themselves, they outsource the task to a data processor who acts on the controller’s instructions. The data subject is the part to whom the personal data relates.

As we move through this guide, we look at when you could be eligible to make a data breach claim, how compensation payouts are calculated in successful cases, and what evidence can help support a case.

Finally, we discuss working with a No Win No Fee solicitor when you claim data breach compensation.

If you have any other questions about data breach compensation claims as you read, please contact an advisor via the contact details provided below:

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  1. Data Breach Compensation Case Studies
  2. When Are You Eligible To Claim Data Breach Compensation?
  3. Potential Data Breach Compensation Payouts
  4. What Could You Do After Suffering From A Data Breach?
  5. Claim Compensation For A Data Breach On A No Win No Fee Basis
  6. Further Reading About Data Breach Claims

Data Breach Compensation Case Studies

The following sections provide examples of data breach case studies which can help you understand the different types of data breaches.

If you have been affected by a data breach in any way, it is always advisable to seek legal advice to see whether you have grounds to sue for compensation. Here at Data Breach Claims, we can offer you a free case assessment, which carries no obligation at all to proceed with our services.

South Staffs Water Data Breach

A water company, South Staffs Water, was targeted by hackers in August 2022 and the bank details of customers may have been affected and leaked on the dark web.

Some of the personal data affected include:

  • Names and addresses of account holders
  • Sort codes and account numbers

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-63809829

British Airways Data Breach

British Airways has settled a claim for some of the 420,000 customers and BA staff affected by the data breach that included their names, addresses, and payment-card details.

The ICO handed British Airways its largest fine to date, of £20m, over the “unacceptable” failure to protect customers.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-57734946

Ticketmaster UK Data Breach bb

Ticketmaster UK has been fined £1.25m by the ICO for failure to keep its customers’ personal data safe. It was following a cyber-attack on the Ticketmaster website in 2018.

The ICO stated personal data had potentially been stolen from more than nine million customers.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54931873

If you have been affected by a personal data breach, please get in touch with our team. They can help you understand what your next steps could potentially be. Alternatively, read on to learn if you could be eligible to claim compensation.

When Are You Eligible To Claim Data Breach Compensation?

As mentioned, controllers and processors must adhere to the UK GDPR and DPA 2018 in order to protect your personal data. Personal data refers to any information that can be used to identify you, such as name, email, and date of birth. If the relevant data protection legislation isn’t adhered to, it could lead to a personal data breach. The ICO defines this as a security incident that affects the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of your personal data.

However, in order to make a data breach compensation claim, you need to prove the following:

  • A data controller or data processor breached data protection law. This is known as wrongful conduct.
  • Due to the wrongful conduct, your personal data was affected.
  • As a result of the personal data breach, you suffered psychological damage, such as emotional distress, and/or financial loss.

To discuss your specific case, get in touch with an advisor on the number above. They may use data breach compensation case studies based on previous claims to assess whether you’re eligible to pursue compensation.

Potential Data Breach Compensation Payouts

Successful data breach compensation settlements can address two types of damage. Firstly, you could be awarded compensation for the non-material damage you suffered due to the personal data breach. This refers to the emotional harm you have suffered, such as anxiety, depression, stress, distress, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in more severe cases. It could also include the exacerbation or acceleration of pre-existing mental health issues.

To apply a value to psychological harm, reference can be made to medical evidence as well as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG provides guideline award brackets for different types of harm, including general psychiatric damage and PTSD.

Compensation Guidelines

We have included a selection of figures from the JCG in the table below, with the exception of the top entry. Please keep in mind that these amounts are only guide figures and that each data breach claim payout will vary according to individual circumstances.

Type of InjurySeverityNotesGuideline Award Brackets
Severe Psychological Damage With Substantial Monetary LossesSevereCompensation for severe psychological harm and any substantial financial costs incurred. This can include loss of earnings.Up to £250,000 +
General Psychological Injury(A) Severe The person has a very poor prognosis and substantial problems that have an impact on many areas of the person's life, including their ability to cope with life, education and work.£66,920 to £141,240
(B) Moderately Severe Although there are still significant problems that have an impact on different aspects of the affected person's life, the person experiences a much better prognosis than cases in the above bracket.£23,270 to £66,920
(C) ModerateThere is a significant improvement across different aspects of the person's life and a good prognosis. £7,150 to £23,270
(D) Less SevereThe award level in this bracket depends on the duration of the disability and how badly normal life is affected.£1,880 to £7,150
PTSD(A) Severe Permanent effects that affect all aspects of the injured person's life in a negative way. The person will be unable to function at a pre-trauma level.£73,050 to £122,850
(B) Moderately SevereA better prognosis than the bracket above due to the person receiving professional help and making some recovery. Despite this, there is still likely to be a significant disability for the foreseeable future.£28,250 to £73,050
(C) ModerateThere is a substantial recovery made with any continuing issues not being considered grossly disabling.£9,980 to £28,250
(D) Less SevereCases of an almost complete recovery within the space of 1-2 years and only minor symptoms persisting beyond this timescale.£4,820 to £9,980

Claiming For Material Damage In A Data Breach Claim

In addition to non-material damage, you could be awarded compensation for material damage caused by the personal data breach. Material damage refers to any financial losses incurred, such as:

  • Loss of earnings for time taken off work to recover from the mental impact of the breach.
  • The cost of having to relocate.

You will need proof of these losses to claim them back. Therefore, it’s important to keep hold of your payslips, credit reports and bank statements that show how the data breach cost you money.

Call our advisors using the number at the top of the page if you have any questions. They can provide further guidance on how much compensation you could be owed for a successful claim by looking at data breach compensation case studies and what has been awarded in the past.

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What Could You Do After Suffering From A Data Breach?

There are some steps and actions that can be taken after discovering a personal data breach.

Firstly, you can contact the organisation for information via letter or email. If they don’t respond or provide an inadequate response, you can make a complaint to the ICO. You must contact the organisation directly before doing so. The ICO may choose to investigate and the findings can be used as evidence to support your case.

Additionally, you could collect other evidence to support your case, such as:

  • Financial documentation, such as payslips, bank statements, and credit reports. This can help show the financial losses incurred due to the breach.
  • Medical evidence, such as notes from a therapist or reports from your doctor or other medical records showing the mental harm you suffered.
  • Evidence of the breach itself. This could include correspondence you have had with the organisation after contacting them. It could also include a letter of notification which an organisation needs to send to data subjects following a breach that has put their rights and freedoms at risk.

For further guidance on what to do after a breach of your personal data, please get in touch using the number above.

Claim Compensation For A Data Breach On A No Win No Fee Basis

Our panel of data breach solicitors could represent you under a No Win No Fee arrangement. The particular contract they can provide their services under is a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Generally this means:

  • There are no upfront fees, ongoing costs, or payments for the solicitor’s services if the claim fails.
  • If the claim succeeds, your solicitor will deduct a percentage of your compensation as their success fee. This percentage has a legal cap applied to it allowing you to keep the majority of your settlement.

To learn more about starting your data breach compensation claim with a solicitor from our panel under No Win No Fee terms, contact our advisors today.

They can tell you in a brief no-obligation assessment whether you qualify to claim. If you are and wish to, they could then connect you with an expert solicitor from our panel. To connect with us:

  • Contact us online for further guidance on data breach claims.
  • Call 020 8050 3051.
  • Message us directly through the live discussion bubble below.

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Further Reading About Data Breach Claims

Alternatively, these other guides offer similar information about making a personal data breach claim:

Other external resources:

Thank you for reading this guide on data breach compensation case studies. If you have any questions, please get in touch using the number listed above.