How To Report A Data Protection Breach In The UK And Claim For It

If you have suffered a breach of your personal data, you may be wondering how to report a data protection breach in the UK.

How do I report a data breach in the UK?

How to report a data protection breach in the UK? – Data breach claims guide

Personal data is any information that can be used to identify a person. This can include their name, email address or postal address. 

This guide will examine key areas of the claims process, for example, how long you have to begin your claim and what evidence you can gather to support your claim. We will also explore how much compensation you could receive if your claim is successful. 

Furthermore, we will examine how a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor may be able to help you. If you would like free legal advice or to learn more about the claims process, speak with one of our advisors today.

To get in touch: 

Choose A Section

  1. How To Report A Data Protection Breach In The UK
  2. When Are You Eligible To Claim For A Data Protection Breach?
  3. How Much Compensation For A Data Breach? – Non-Material Damage Compensation
  4. Evidence That Could Help You Claim Data Breach Compensation
  5. Why Use Data Breach Solicitors On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  6. Learn More About How To Report A Data Protection Breach In The UK

How To Report A Data Protection Breach In The UK

Generally, the data controller or processor will discover the breach of data and alert you of the issue. A data controller is responsible for how and why your data is used. Then, a data processor will follow the controller’s instructions and process the data. Both parties can be penalised if they do not follow data protection legislation.

However, if you discover the data personal breach yourself, you should contact the data controller or processor to find out exactly what data was exposed. If no satisfactory response is given within 3 months, you may wish to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO are an independent body that upholds data protection laws.

The ICO may investigate and fine the party responsible for the breach. However, they do not offer compensation, nor do they take claims. Therefore, you could seek legal advice to see how much compensation you could receive. 

Our advisors can provide this service free of charge. If you are still wondering how to report a data protection breach in the UK, get in touch. 

When Are You Eligible To Claim For A Data Protection Breach?

According to the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) organisations must protect the personal data of UK residents. This means that if your data is compromised due to the controller or processor’s wrongful conduct,  you may be able to claim. Alongside this, you must have endured financial or psychological harm as a result. 

Here are some examples of how this may occur: 

  • Your passport data is exposed by a travel agency as a result of an email being sent to the wrong person. 
  • Your employer might fail to secure your payslip which allows your co-workers to gain access to your bank details.
  • A bank data breach could occur if your bank does not have the necessary cybersecurity systems in place. Due to this, they are hacked, and your credit card details are exposed, leading to an increase in stress and anxiety. 

If you would like to find out whether you could make a data claim, please get in touch with our advisors. 

Is There A Time Limit To Making A Data Protection Breach Claim?

If you are claiming against a public body, for instance, a local council, you generally have 1 year to begin the process. Otherwise, you will typically have six years to begin your claim.

These time limits typically begin from when you became aware of the data breach. Our advisors can give you more clarity on the time limitations surrounding claims if you get in touch.

How Much Compensation For A Data Breach? – Non-Material Damage Compensation

Data breach compensation for a successful data protection breach claim could be made up of two heads of claim. Firstly, you could receive non-material damage compensation for any psychological injuries that you experience due to the breach. Examples of this may include: 

Below, you can find a table of compensation amounts that have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a document that aids legal professionals when valuing claims by providing guideline compensation amounts.

Injury SeverityCompensation BracketDetails
Psychological injurySevere£54,830 to £115,730There are significant issues dealing with work or education because of an unsuccesful treatment.
Psychological injuryModerately Severe£19,070 to £54,830Involves major hardship coping with everyday tasks.
Psychological injuryModerate£5,860 to £19,070Regardless of a good prognosis, difficulty coping with life will still persist.
Psychological injuryLess Severe£1,540 to £5,860The impact the data breach has on daily life and recovery time will determine how much compensation is awarded for this bracket.
Anxiety disorderSevere £59,860 to £100,670Involves continuing symtpoms which stop involvement in daily life or functioning at a level similar to pre-trauma.
Anxiety disorderModerately Severe£23,150 to £59,860A better prognosis will be achieved with the aid of a medical professional.
Anxiety disorderModerate£8,180 to £23,150Despite a near full recovery being made, there will still be some problems copinmg with life.
Anxiety disorderLess Severe£3,950 to £8,180A near full recovery has been made within 1-2 years.

When Can I Claim For Material Damage?

Material damage compensation aims to reimburse you for any financial damages that you suffer because of the breach. For example, if a breach results in cybercriminals stealing money from your bank account, you could recoup these losses under material damage compensation.

If you would like more information on personal data breach compensation, please speak with an advisor from our team. 

Evidence That Could Help You Claim Data Breach Compensation

Collecting evidence is an effective way of proving that you were subject to material or non-material damage due to a personal data breach. For example, useful evidence can include:

  • A record of correspondence between yourself and the data controller or processor. This could include letters or emails of notification. 
  • Medical reports or records that illustrate the psychological harm you suffer as a result of the breach.
  • Proof of any material losses such as receipts, invoices, or bank statements. 

One of the data breach solicitors from our panel could help you gather evidence. To learn more, do not hesitate to get in touch with our advisors, who could connect you with a solicitor if you have a valid claim. 

Why Use Data Breach Solicitors On A No Win No Fee Basis?

A solicitor can help present and build your case. Additionally, they could provide you with a realistic timescale of the claims process, and could offer insight into reporting the breach to the ICO.

Many claimants find it useful to seek legal services through a No Win No Fee agreement. The solicitors on our expert panel could offer their services to you under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under this kind of contract, you typically do not pay upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor as they work through your claim.

If your case is a success, your solicitor will take a success fee. This is a percentage of your compensation with a legislative cap to help ensure you keep the majority of your award. Should your claim be unsuccessful, you will not pay this fee.

Want To See If You Can Use Our Panel Of Data Breach Solicitors? Contact Us For Free Today

Our advisors can offer you a free consultation to assess your eligibility to claim. If they deem you to have a valid case, they can connect you with a solicitor from our panel. To get in touch: 

Learn More About How To Report A Data Protection Breach In The UK

Here are some more of our own guides related to data breaches:

Furthermore, we have included additional guides that might be beneficial to you: 

Thank you for reading this guide on how to report a data protection breach in the UK.

Writer Beck Perk

Publisher Cat Harley