Social Services Data Breach – Could I Receive Compensation?

This guide will explore what a social services data breach is and how you can make a claim. A personal data breach can lead to financial losses, psychological harm, and further damage. We will discuss what legislation is in place to keep your personal data safe and what steps you can take to gain compensation should a breach occurs.

Social services data breach

Social services data breach claims guide

This article will also discuss what kinds of compensation you could claim following a personal data breach. We will also explain who is eligible to claim, and provide examples of guideline compensation amounts.

A No Win No Fee solicitor can help you seek damages for a personal data breach. You can see more information on reaching a solicitor in this article.

You can also ask your questions about social services data breach by contacting us using the following details:

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  • Contact us through our website
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Choose A Section

  1. What is a Social Services Data Breach?
  2. Data Breach Examples – How Could This Happen?
  3. What Should I Do After a Social Services Data Breach?
  4. What Could I Receive From a Personal Data Breach Claim?
  5. No Win No Fee Solicitors – What are the Benefits of Using Them?
  6. Learn More About Claiming For A Social Services Data Breach

What is a Social Services Data Breach?

A data breach is defined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a security incident that affects the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your personal data. The ICO uphold information rights and freedoms of data subjects. As an independent body, they can levy fines against organisations that fail to comply with legislation.

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) set out the rules that all data controllers and processors must follow when collecting and processing personal data. Personal data is information that can identify you, like your name, phone number, bank details, or postcode.

Data controllers decide why and how they collect and use your personal data. However, data processors process your data on behalf of the data controller. Social services agencies can class as both data controllers and data processors.

You may be eligible for data breach compensation if you’ve suffered from material or non-material damages due to wrongful conduct on the part of social services.

Data Breach Examples – How Could This Happen?

There are a number of ways that a personal data breach can occur within social services agencies. For example, cybercrime. If an agency does not employ adequate cybersecurity policies, this could lead to cybercriminals stealing personal data with malware.

Personal data breaches can also occur as a result of human error. Some examples of how human error could contribute to a personal data breach include:

  • Sending an email containing personal information to the wrong recipient
  • Discussing personal information where unauthorised personnel can overhear or with unauthorised people 
  • Posting a letter containing personal data to the wrong postal address
  • Leaving personal files or devices that contain personal data unattended in places where members of the public can easily access or take them
  • Failing to dispose of physical files that contain personal data adequately. For example, failing to shred files or failing to redact personal information before disposing of it

However, you cannot make a claim for every personal data breach. According to legislation, there is specific criteria that your claim must meet in order to be eligible, including:

  • The breach must occur due to the failings of a social services agency
  • It must affect your personal data
  • You must suffer harm as a result

Contact our advisors today to find out if you could be eligible to claim compensation.

What Should I Do After a Social Services Data Breach?

If your personal data has been breached and it could affect your rights or freedoms,  the organisation must report it to the ICO within 72 hours. Also, they must inform you without undue delay. Alternatively, you should approach the organisation if you discover the data breach yourself. They may confirm the breach.

If you don’t receive a satisfactory response from the organisation, or if they do not reply at all, you can make a complaint to the ICO. The ICO can take disciplinary measures against the organisation, but they cannot supply you with compensation.

Correspondence with the ICO or with social services confirming the breach could be used as evidence to strengthen your claim. To learn more about how you could strengthen your claim, contact our advisors. If your claim is valid, they may connect you with a solicitor from our panel.

What Could I Receive From a Data Breach Claim?

You may be wondering how much personal data breach compensation you could be entitled to should your claim be successful. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) display compensation brackets for non-material damage. This relates to the psychological injuries you sustain due to the breach. For example, emotional distress, anxiety or depression. 

We’ve included a table below that highlights some compensation brackets relating to non-material damage. These figures are taken from the JCG, and are guideline amounts. The actual amount you could receive may vary.

Severe Psychiatric Damage£54,830 - 115,730Severe cases effecting the injured persons ability to cope with relationships and life overall.
Moderately Severe Psychiatric Damage£19,070 - £54,830Prognosis is more optimistic, yet significant problems regarding relationships and future vulnerability persist.
Moderate Psychiatric Damage£5,860 - 19,070A good prognosis following significant improvement in symptoms by the time of trial.
Less Severe Psychiatric Damage£1,540 - £5,860Daily activities and sleep may be affected, though symptoms will be minor.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)£59,860 - £100,670Injuries cause permanent effects, preventing the injured person from working with all aspects of life poorly affected.
Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)£23,150 - £59,860Significant disability continues even with professional help.
Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)£8,180 - £23,150The injured person can recover form the majority of their injuries with no grossly disabling symptoms persisting.
Less Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)£3,950 - £8,180Minor symptoms persisting over the period of recovery, which is made between one to two years.

What Else Could I Claim For After A Social Services Data Breach?

You can also claim material damage after suffering from a personal data breach. This relates to any financial losses, including damage to your credit score, or fraudulent charges to your credit card.

Following on from the Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc (2015) case, you are no longer required to claim for material damage in order to receive non-material damage. Now, claims can be made for non-material damage both alone and in conjunction with material damage.

Contact our team to find out what you could potentially receive should your claim succeed.

No Win No Fee Solicitors – What are the Benefits of Using Them?

When working with a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor, you may be offered a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). When you hire a solicitor under a CFA, there are generally no upfront fees to pay. If your claim is successful, there will be a legally-capped success fee deducted from your award. Your solicitor will discuss this percentage with you before you begin your claim.

However, if your claim does not succeed, you will not pay this fee. To learn more about how you could benefit from legal representation, contact our advisors.

Would You Like A Free Consultation to See If You Can Claim?

Our advisors are available to answer any questions you may have regarding your social services data breach claim. They can provide free legal advice and may be able to connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor should your claim be valid. You can reach us by:

  • Calling the number in the banner
  • Contacting us online
  • Using the live chat feature

Learn More About Claiming For A Social Services Data Breach

See below for more resources to help you with your social services data breach claim. 

You can also view more of our guides here:

For more questions surrounding making a social services data breach claim, contact our advisors today.

Writer Jess Allen

Publisher Cat Harley