Family Data Breach Compensation – Can I Claim For Breach Of UK GDPR?

By Jo Caine. Last Updated 27th June 2023. You may suffer emotional distress if an organisation breaches your family’s data. Moreover, if a school, social services or another organisation breaches your children’s data, the breach may compromise the child’s safeguarding. In extreme cases, you or other family members may develop psychological injuries after a data breach.

If a data breach has compromised your family’s data privacy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with today. We can offer you free legal advice about making a data breach claim. Moreover, if you have legitimate grounds to claim compensation, we can appoint our panel of skilled solicitors to work on your case.

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Family data breach claims guide

Family data breach claims guide

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What Is A Family Data Breach?

A data security incident can lead to a personal data breach which results in the following accidental or unlawful incidents happening to personal data:

  • A party destroys, loses or alters the data
  • A party wrongfully discloses personal data
  • Unauthorised persons can access the data
  • An organisation exposes or leaks the data to an insecure environment

A family data breach involves the breaching of personal data that belongs to a family. Data belonging to children that is considered sensitive, can put vulnerable children at risk. Importantly, the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) requires organisations to protect the data they collect.

So, should an organisation fail to correctly protect the personal data of a data subject they could be liable to pay damages if this data is breached and also if it causes harm.  We will look at the criteria for making a personal data breach claim later in this guide.

How Could A Family Data Breach Affect You?

A family data breach can be an emotionally distressing matter. Data breaches can cause financial losses but also those involved can be stressed after a data breach. If the data breach is particularly traumatic, the victim may experience psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or anxiety.

How could a personal data breach happen and what could the effects be?

  • A hospital, like one in Liverpool, for example, sends test results to the incorrect address meaning a person’s diagnosis has been breached. This could cause the patient to be emotionally distressed.
  • Social services could accidentally disclose the address of a child in foster care. Therefore an abusive person could track down the child.
  • The probation service could accidentally upload a document to the internet that contains a person’s criminal record.
  • A school or nursery could send a letter about a child to the wrong address. Therefore, the school or nursery would share the child’s information with an unauthorised third party.

Please be aware that under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR only certain data is protected. This is information that has been processed and is personal or personally sensitive.

A personal data breach can also lead to financial losses. For example, if your credit or debit card information was exposed, fraudsters could use this as a way to purchase items.

Moreover, if an organisation exposes your data to an insecure environment, criminals may use the data for fraudulent purposes. For example, you may become the target of a phishing scam, which can lead to financial losses.

Reporting The Data Breach

If your rights and freedoms are at risk following a personal data breach then the organisation that had responsibility for your data must inform you without undue delay. Also, they must inform the Information Commissioner’s Office ICO within 72 hours. The ICO are the independent public body that governs data protection laws. Although they don’t award compensation to data breach victims they can fine data controllers (organisations that collect personal data) if they fail to comply with applicable laws.

If you believe you have discovered a breach of your data privacy, please contact the organisation in question to raise your concerns. However, if you are unsatisfied with the organisation’s response, you can report the data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Please leave no longer than three months to contact the ICO since your last meaningful contact with the data controller because the ICO is unlikely to investigate.

When Can You Claim Compensation For A Breach?

You could potentially have a valid personal data breach claim under the following circumstances:

  • You had personal data breached,
  • It was breached because the data controller did not comply with data protection laws,
  • Finally, the data breach caused emotional distress, psychological injuries or financial losses.

Family Data Breach Compensation Calculator

If you make a successful claim for compensation for a UK GDPR breach of your personal data, your material and non-material damage could be compensated for.

Non-material damage refers to the psychological injuries you have suffered due to the personal data breach. This could include anxiety, stress or depression, for example.

When valuing claims, legal professionals could use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them. This document provides guideline compensation brackets for various psychological and physical injuries. In the table we have created below, we have listed figures from the 16th edition of the JCG.

Please only use this table as a guide.

Mental Health Injury Injury Description Damages
Psychiatric Damage (General) – Severe The mental health illness could have impacted all parts of this person’s life. They will generally have a poor prognosis. £54,830 – £115,730
Psychiatric Damage (General)- Moderately Severe There may still be significant problems impacting all parts of this person’s life. They will however have a more optimistic prognosis. £19,070 – £54,830
Psychiatric Damage (General) – Moderate By the time of a claim being taken to trial, a good degree of recovery should have taken place. £5,860 – £19,070
Psychiatric Damage (General) – Less Severe Compensation settlements take account of factors such as type of symptom and duration suffered. £1,540 – £5,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Severe Post-traumatic stress disorder has caused the person to be unable to function at the same level as pre-trauma. £59,860 – £100,670
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Moderately Severe Those in this category are distinct from above due to claimants being given a better prognosis providing they have professional care. £23,150 – £59,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Moderate People could have largely recovered from such degrees of injury. Any remaining symptoms are not grossly disabling. £8,180 – £23,150
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Less Severe An almost full recovery should have been made. The recovery should have taken place in less than 2 years. £3,950 – £8,180

Material damage refers to the financial losses you experienced due to your personal data being breached. For example, if your credit card information was compromised, this could result in charges being made to that card. Providing evidence of these losses with bank or credit card statements could help support your claim.

Contact our advisors today if you have any questions about making a personal data breach claim for a UK GDPR breach, and the compensation amounts that could be awarded. They could also inform you whether a solicitor on our panel could work with you on the basis of a No Win No Fee for your data breach claim.

Make A No Win No Fee Family Data Breach Claim

Please contact for more information about making a data breach claim. An advisor can offer you free legal advice about claiming compensation. Moreover, if we can see that you have enough evidence to support a data breach claim, our panel of solicitors can be assigned to work on your claim.

Many claimants choose to make claims with No Win No Fee solicitors. When you make a No Win No Fee claim, you sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Therefore you agree to pay a success fee if you win your claim rather than pay a solicitors fee upfront.

Moreover, if you win your claim, your success fee is taken from your data breach compensation payment at a legally capped rate.

Please feel free to contact us to enquire about making a data breach claim:

  • Call us on 0161 696 9685 for your free claims consultation.
  • Please write to us via our website.
  • On the other hand, please chat with us using the Live Support widget

Related Data Breach And Injury Claims

As well as providing specialist advice on data breach claims we can also answer any questions on the following:

A Guide How To Make A Child Accident Compensation Claim?

FAQS – Frequently Asked Questions For Accidents At Work

Do You Need A Solicitor For A Personal Injury Claim?

Some external links you may find useful;

An ICO guide to collecting and disclosing special category data

A guide from the ICO on when organisations can legally process personal data

Government information on your rights as a data subject

Other Data Breach Claim Guides

Thank you for reading our guide to claiming for a family data breach.