What Is A Wrong Email Address Data Breach?

If you have been harmed by a wrong email address data breach, you may be wondering if you can claim compensation.

Wrong email address data breach

Wrong email address data breach

Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), those who handle the personal data of UK residents must follow certain steps. If they fail to do so, and this leads to a personal data breach that causes you harm, you may be able to claim. These legislations are enforced by the UK’s independent data protection authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

In this article, we will discuss what a personal data breach is and how a breach of your personal data could affect you.

We will also discuss compensation for personal data breach claims, as well as the criteria that your claim must meet in order to be valid. These criteria are set out by the UK GDPR.

Our advisors can provide free legal advice and a free consultation when you get in touch today. If you have a valid claim, they may then connect you with a solicitor from our panel. To learn more:

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What Are Wrong Email Address Data Breach Claims?

Personal data is data that can identify you as a person. For example, this might include information such as your full name, your phone number, or your email address. Personal data also includes special category data. This is a kind of personal data that, due to its sensitive nature, requires extra protection.

A wrong email address data breach occurs when an email containing personal data is sent to the wrong person. When a security incident such as this allows the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your personal data to be compromised, this is a personal data breach.

Data controllers and data processors must comply with data protection laws. A data controller is in charge of deciding how your data will be used, as well as why. A data processor goes on to process this data on behalf of the controller.

The UK GDPR sets out the criteria that claims have to meet to be valid for compensation. According to this legislation, you have to be able to prove that the breach:

  • Includes your personal data
  • Is the fault of the data controller or processor
  • Has caused you to experience harm

To find out if you have a valid personal data breach claim following a wrong email address data breach, contact our advisors today.

Causes Of Wrong Email Address Data Breaches

There are many ways in which a personal data breach can occur. However, as we have previously mentioned, you can only make a claim for compensation if the breach was the fault of the data controller or processor. With this in mind, some examples of how wrongful conduct could lead to a wrong email address data breach include:

  • An employer accidentally sends an email that contains personal data to the wrong person
  • The wrong person is copied into an email, allowing them access to the personal data
  • An employee accidentally attaches the wrong document to an email, allowing the recipient unauthorised access to personal data

Email And BCC Data Breach Statistics

The ICO collects and publishes quarterly reports of data security incident trends. In 2021, 1,692 incidents of personal data being sent to the wrong email address were reported. This was the most commonly reported incident type in 2021.

To learn more about making a wrong email address data breach claim, contact our advisors today.

What Are The Impacts Of A Personal Data Breach?

The impacts of a personal data breach can be serious and far-reaching, affecting both your mental health and your finances. For example, a credit or debit card data breach could lead to criminals stealing money from your bank accounts or making illegal purchases on your credit card.

If you have experienced a personal data breach, this might also lead to experiencing mental health problems as a result. For example, you could suffer stress after a data breach, or you could experience anxiety caused by the breach.

What To Do If Your Email Is In A Data Breach

If an organisation experiences a personal data breach that can affect your rights or your freedoms, they must contact the ICO and report it. They must also notify you as soon as possible.

If you receive notification of a personal data breach or if you suspect your personal data has been compromised, you can make a complaint to the organisation responsible. They may be able to confirm the breach or provide more information.

If their response is not satisfactory, or if they do not respond at all, you can make a complaint to the ICO. Do this within three months of your last meaningful contact with the organisation. The ICO doesn’t offer compensation, but they may investigate the breach, and any correspondence can be used to strengthen your claim.

To learn more about what to do if you experience a wrong email address data breach, get in contact with our team of advisors.

Calculating Wrong Email Address Data Breach Settlements

There are two heads of data breach compensation that you could receive should your claim succeed. Material damage is the head of claim that provides compensation for the financial impacts of the personal data breach. This can include a loss of earnings, damage to your credit score, or debt accrued in your name.

Non-material damage offers compensation for any emotional distress or psychological injuries that you suffer as a result of the breach. For example, you may suffer distress, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The table below showcases figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) in relation to non-material damage awards. Please note that the brackets in this table are guidelines only, as the JCG provides solicitors with guideline compensation amounts to help them value claims.


Harm To Mental Health Severity And Injury Notes Compensation Payout
Mental Injury Severe – Overall, this person has been severely impacted across multiple areas of life. They have a bad prognosis. £54,830 to £115,730
Mental Injury Moderately severe – The impact has been similar to the most severe cases, but there is a better and more optimistic prognosis. £19,070 to £54,830
Mental Injury Moderate – Significant improvements can be seen in symptoms by the time of trial. The prognosis is much better. £5,860 to £19,070
Mental Injury Less severe – Compensation payouts depend on symptoms’ effect on daily life. £1,540 to £5,860
PTSD Severe – As a result of the trauma, the person is not able to return to functioning or working at the same level they did before. £59,860 to £100,670
PTSD Moderately severe – With professional treatment, there is some chance of recovery. £23,150 to £59,860
PTSD Moderate – While there has been a large degree of recovery, some non-disabling symptoms may continue. £8,180 to £23,150
PTSD Less severe – In around two years, an almost complete recovery has taken place with only minor symptoms that continue. £3.950 to £8,180


For a free consultation of what your wrong email address data breach claim could be worth, get in touch with our advisors today.

Contact Us For Claims About A Wrong Email Address Data Breach

Our panel of experienced advisors offer their services through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This type of No Win No Fee arrangement allows you to access all the benefits of legal representation, typically without paying any upfront fees or ongoing costs. A solicitor working under a CFA will only take a success fee if your claim succeeds. Otherwise, you do not pay them any fees.

To learn more about how a solicitor from our panel could benefit your claim, get in touch with our team of advisors:

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