Can I Claim Compensation If A Letter Was Sent To The Wrong Address Because Of A UK GDPR Breach?

You might be wondering ‘Is sending a letter to the wrong address a UK GDPR breach?’ and whether you can claim compensation. If so, we could help. As we move through our guide, we look at the responsibilities certain parties have to protect your personal data and the data protection laws they need to adhere to; namely the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).

Additionally, we look at how a breach of these laws could lead to your personal data being sent in a letter to the wrong address and when you could make a data breach compensation claim for the financial loss and/or emotional harm you have suffered as a result.

Furthermore, we provide guidance on the steps you could potentially take after your personal data has been compromised in a breach. We also look at how compensation is calculated in a successful data breach claim.

Lastly, we offer guidance on how a solicitor working on a No Win No Fee basis could support you throughout every stage of the claims process.

If you have any other questions about data breach claims, you can connect with our helpful team in the following ways:

  • Call our team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 020 8050 3051
  • Contact us via our website.
  • Or try the support bubble below for instant help.

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  1. Is Sending A Letter To The Wrong Address A UK GDPR Breach And Can I Claim Compensation?
  2. What Is A Wrong Postal Address Data Breach?
  3. What Can I Do If A Letter Was Sent To The Wrong Address In A UK GDPR Breach And I Want To Claim Compensation?
  4. How Much Compensation For A Personal Data Breach Claim?
  5. Claim For A Wrong Postal Address Data Breach With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  6. Read More About How To Claim For A Data Breach Of Personal Information

Is Sending A Letter To The Wrong Address A UK GDPR Breach And Can I Claim Compensation?

The DPA and UK GDPR are two pieces of data protection law that set out the responsibilities data controllers and data processors have to protect your personal data. Controllers set the means and purpose for processing your personal data and may process it themselves. If they don’t process the data themselves, they can outsource the task to a data processor, often an external third party, which processes on behalf of the controller and acts on their instructions.

Personal data is information that used alone, or alongside other details can identify you. This includes your name, postal address, email address and credit or debit card details. It can also include personal data of a more sensitive nature which is given extra protection. Some examples of this are data concerning your health, such as medical information, or data revealing your racial and ethnic origin. This is called special category data.

If a data controller or processor fail to adhere to data protection laws, this is wrongful conduct which could result in a personal data breach. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent body set up to uphold information rights in the UK, refers to this a security incident in which the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your personal data is affected.

As such, if a letter containing your personal data was sent to the wrong address due to wrongful conduct, it could in some cases constitute a breach of the UK GDPR.

However, in order to claim compensation, you need to prove:

  • A controller or processor didn’t adhere to data protection laws.
  • The wrongful conduct led to your personal data being compromised in a breach.
  • You suffered mental and/or financial damage as a result.

Contact our team on the number above for more information on claiming compensation for a data breach.

What Is A Wrong Postal Address Data Breach?

A wrongful postal address data breach can involve cases where your personal data was sent to the wrong address. This could happen for a number of reasons, including due to human error. It could also have an impact on your mental health, cause you financial loss, or both.

Examples include:

  • Your bank fails to update your contact details to include your current address, even though you informed them of the change. As a consequence, your new debit card and PIN number are sent in a letter to an old address or the wrong house or flat. This results in financial loss in the form of money being stolen from your account.
  • A GP surgery had your correct details on file, but a mix up from the admin team meant a letter containing sensitive information about your medical condition is sent to the wrong address. As a result, you suffer significant stress and anxiety and require time off work to deal with the mental impact causing you financial loss.

We understand your specific circumstances may differ to the examples listed above so please call our team on the number at the top of this page to discuss your case. They can assess whether you’re eligible to seek compensation and provide further guidance on the question ‘Is sending a letter to the wrong address a UK GDPR breach?’.

Two wooden panels with the words 'data breach' resting on a stack of notepads.

What Can I Do If A Letter Was Sent To The Wrong Address In A UK GDPR Breach And I Want To Claim Compensation?

If a letter was sent to the wrong address in a UK GDPR breach and you are eligible to claim compensation, you could take steps to support your case. For example:

  • Get in touch with the organisation directly. Data controllers must inform you without undue delay of a breach that has put your rights and freedoms at risk. However, if you have not been contacted and suspect your personal data has been breached, you can contact the organisation directly. In doing so, you can understand the steps they aim to take to rectify the issue.
  • Make a complaint to the ICO. You can make a complaint to the ICO yourself, but you would need to wait three months since the last meaningful contact you had with the organisation. The ICO may look into your complaint, but they cannot award compensation.
  • Collect evidence of the breach. This evidence can include the letter of notification from the company as well as any other correspondence you have had with them. Also, if the ICO investigates the issue, their findings can help.
  • Collect evidence to show how the breach affected you. This might include medical records that show the emotional injury caused to you. You should also provide proof of any monetary losses, such as bank statements or loss of earnings.

Our advisors can offer further guidance about the steps you could take after a breach of your personal data. Additionally, they can assess your case for free and if you’re eligible, they could connect you to a data breach solicitor off our expert panel.

The solicitors on our panel have years of experience helping claimants seek compensation for a wrong postal address data breach and can assist you with seeking compensation. Call for more information using the number above.

How Much Compensation For A Personal Data Breach Claim?

After a successful claim for data breach compensation, a payout could be awarded to address up to two types of damage. Firstly, you could receive compensation for any psychological harm caused due to the data breach. This is called non-material damage. It can include anxiety, depression, general distress because of a data breach, or the exacerbation of pre-existing mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Those responsible for calculating the value of non-material damage can use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them. The JCG offers guideline award brackets for different types of psychological harm.

Award Bracket Guidelines

The table below contains figures from the JCG, except for the top entry. Please use this as a guide only.

TYPE OF HARMSEVERITYNOTESAWARD BRACKET GUIDELINES
General Psychological Harm(a) SevereA very poor prognosis with marked problems with work, personal relationships and other areas of life.£54,830 - £115,730
(b) Moderately SevereA better prognosis than the bracket above but persistent and significant issues remain.£19,070 - £54,830
(c) ModerateA good level of improvement and a better prognosis.£5,860 - £19,070
(d) Less SevereConsideration is given to how long the person is affected and to what degree when determining the award given.£1,540 - £5,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)(a) SevereA permanent impact on all areas of the person's life which means they cannot function as they did before.£59,860 -£100,670
(b) Moderately SevereA better prognosis than the bracket above as help from a medical professional has taken place. However, a significant future disability is still considered likely in the future.£23,150 - £59,860
(c) ModerateA significant level of recovery is seen with any persisting issues not being majorly disabling.£8,180 - £23,150
(d) Less SevereVirtually a total recovery is made within a couple of years. Only minor issues continuing past this period.£3,950 - £8,180

Claiming For Material Damage

The other type of damage you could receive compensation for is material damage. This refers to any financial losses caused by the data breach. For example:

  • Money stolen from your bank account.
  • Fraudulent purchases being made in your name.
  • Loss of earnings from time taken off work to deal with the mental impact of the breach.

You should keep hold of bank statements and payslips that prove these losses.

Call an advisor to discuss how much compensation for a data breach could be owed if you make a successful claim.

Claim For A Wrong Postal Address Data Breach With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

When claiming after a letter was sent to the wrong address in a UK GDPR breach, you could benefit from instructing a solicitor to assist you. When you call our team, an advisor can assess your case for free and if you’re eligible, you could be connected with an knowledgeable and experienced data breach solicitor off our panel to help you claim compensation.

Our panel of solicitors can offer their services under a No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The terms of a contract like this typically mean no payment is needed for the solicitor’s services upfront or as the claim moves forward. Additionally, no payment is needed for their completed work if the claim fails.

If the claim succeeds, you need to pay a success fee to your solicitor. This is a small percentage of the compensation but the maximum amount they can take is subject to a cap as per the law. As such, you receive the bulk of your compensation payout.

To find out whether a solicitor from our panel could assist you with claiming compensation for a data breach, contact our team using the details below:

  • Call our team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 020 8050 3051
  • Contact us via our website.
  • Or try the support bubble below for instant help.

A solicitor working on a data breach compensation claim after a letter was sent to the wrong address in a UK GDPR breach.

Read More About How To Claim For A Data Breach Of Personal Information

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We hope that this article has helped answer the question ‘Is sending a letter to the wrong address a UK GDPR breach?’ and whether you can claim compensation. However, if you have any other questions, please get in touch on the number above.