Your local privacy and data breach solicitors serving Oxfordshire and area
Whether your personal information has been leaked by an online database, or you are concerned with what confidential data is being stored about you by large corporations, you may be eligible for Data Breach Compensation. SMQ Legal services have a team of privacy and data breach solicitors with the skills and expertise to help you resolve your GDPR breach and advise you as to prospects for compensation.
For both individuals and businesses, data protection has never been a more serious issue. Data breaches can have severe consequences, allowing criminals to commit fraud and identity theft with your information. In this age of information and technology, individuals are becoming more concerned about what data is stored about them online, and how their personal information is used. It has never been a better time to act against a potential breach of your data protection and make a claim for compensation you deserve.
At SMQ Legal services a team of experienced privacy and data breach solicitors can help ease your concerns and secure your data again. With easily digestible legal advice, and unparalleled client care, we can assist you in this ever-changing legal landscape.
What are the Data Protection Laws, and what do they mean?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), and Human Rights Act 1988 (HRA) outline rules designed to protect you and your personal data. Public Bodies such as the NHS, Police, and Local Authorities may breach these rules and put people at risk by:
- Storing inaccurate or out-of-date information
- Holding data longer than necessary
- Making confidential data public
- Failing to secure data from hackers or thieves
- Using data outside its stated purpose.
Additionally, there are other laws and regulations which govern the use of our data. These laws include: the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), and the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Regulations. All in all, these laws make up the structure for data protection legislation, and are what businesses are required to follow when handling and storing your data.
In order to gain data breach compensation, it must be shown that the breach has caused physical or mental distress. How this distress has been caused is the key factor in making this claim. Even if the volume of data leaked is low, this does not mean that your distress is insignificant. Any distress caused may be liable for a claim.
Where a claim has been made, it is the duty of the holder of that information (e.g. NHS, Police, Local Council) to show that they have acted reasonably, responsibly, and with upmost vigilance with your information.
Your local privacy and data breach solicitors
Our no win no fee privacy and data breach solicitors in Oxford can help you with a free consultation to explore if you have a case and discuss next steps. Our Data Protection lawyers understand that being a victim of a breach in personal data can affect many aspects of your life. If you or someone close to you has been impacted by a GDPR breach, we can offer a free consultation to listen and advise whether we feel you have merit to start a claim on a no win no fee basis.
More information about data breaches
What is a data breach?
- A data breach occurs when someone without specific permission accesses private information, or releases it into an environment outside of their control (e.g. the internet)
What sort of things are classified as a data breach?
- Examples of breaches in data protection include the leaking of:
- Home addresses
- Bank details
- Names of those signed up to sensitive websites
- Letters containing personal information
- Personal details mistakenly input onto a group email
What can cause a data breach?
- In most cases a breach occurs in one of two ways. Firstly, it can occur when someone deliberately leaks information from a closed database to the public. In other cases, a breach can happen unintentionally. For example, a business may be the victim of a cyber-attack, where hackers steal personal information, or a doctors may send a letter containing medical records to the wrong address.
The impact of a data beach?
- When your personal data has been stolen or leaked, it can cause significant financial and emotional impact. Not knowing how and where your information has gone can cause large amounts of anxiety. In some cases where financial data has been leaked, it can lead to identity theft and fraudulent activity.
How can I find out if my data was stolen?
- Under the GDPR if your information is being stored by a business, and has been compromised, it is their duty to inform both you and the ICO. They should explain to you and the ICO:
- What measures have been taken to recover/tackle the breach.
- What is the likely outcome from the breach of data
- Who their data protection officer is and their direct contact details.
Compensation for data breaches?
- The amount of compensation you would be due to receive following a breach in data protection varies depending on the circumstances relation to the breach. These circumstances include but are not limited to the following:
- Sensitivity of data stolen
- Length of time between the breach and the report
- How long unauthorised access to the data was available
- How many people accessed the data
- Anxiety and emotional distress encountered
- Any financial losses experienced
You could receive compensation for any loss of control over the data, even if you suffered no financial loss.
What is the punishment for breaching GDPR or Data Protection Act?
- Breaking the law can result in a fine for those responsible, and the organisation who committed the breach. The total amount someone can be fined is dependant on the circumstances of the breach. However, a maximum of £17,000,000 or 4% annual worldwide turnover in the previous financial year (whichever is higher)
How quickly must an organisation report a data breach?
- A business must report a breach to the ICO without delay and no later than 72 hours after being made aware of it. Any longer than this and they must provide a reason for the delay. The business is also required to inform the person who’s data has been leaked of the breach.