Are you a Home Office employee who has experienced a Home Office data breach? This guide explores what could justify employee data breach claims against the Home Office. Continue reading our guide to learn more.
The Home Office is a ministerial government department. The Home Secretary is head of the Home Office. The department’s three key areas of responsibility are immigration, national security and law and order. Therefore the Home Office is involved in the following areas:
- Managing asylum claims
- Issuing visas
Employers are responsible for safeguarding employees’ personal data if they process or hold it. So what happens if an employer data breach takes place? They could be liable for the financial or psychological harm that the data breach causes employees. As a result, the employees may be eligible to claim data breach compensation.
Learn More About Employee Data Breaches
Do you wish to learn more about making a data breach claim against your employer? Then contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your rights after a data breach. You can also use our live chat or call us.
Alternatively, click the banner below to contact Legal Expert if you would like to see if you could begin a claim.
Select A Section
- What Is An Employee GDPR Data Breach Claim Against The Home Office?
- What Is GDPR?
- Does The GDPR Protect Home Office Employees?
- Seven Key GDPR Principles
- Types Of Information That The GDPR Covers
- What Is A Breach Of The GDPR At Work?
- Ways In Which The Home Office Could Breach Data Privacy
- Do Employers Have To Obtain Consent To Share Your Data?
- What Should An Employer Do After An Employee Data Breach At Work?
- What Role Does The Information Commissioner’s Office Have?
- Guidelines Protecting Employees’ Data Privacy
- How To Report Data Breaches In The Workplace
- Compensation Calculator For Employee Data Breach Claims Against The Home Office
- No Win No Fee Employee Data Breach Claims Against The Home Office
- Contact Us Today
Employers are often also data controllers. This means they decide how and why personal data is processed. They may do this, for example, to ensure you’re paid correctly, or to keep track of progression at work.
As an employee, you would be a data subject. This means your personal information is processed. Data controllers may also use data processors to help them process data. Data processors are usually a separate organisation or agency.
These data controllers and processors have a responsibility to protect personal information. This could include taking measures to avoid data breaches. A data breach happens when a security incident leads to the unlawful or accidental loss, disclosure, destruction, access or alteration of personal data.
You may be able to claim compensation from your employer if they have breached your personal data privacy and it caused you mental or financial harm. You may even choose to use the services of a data breach solicitor to claim. The solicitor could handle your case on a No Win No Fee basis.
Data Breach Claim Time Limits
There is normally a time limit of six years to claim compensation for a data breach. Its starts from the date you obtained knowledge of the breach. However, the time limit will be one year if the data breach violated human rights. We recommend you begin your claim as soon as you reasonably can, to avoid falling outside of the time limit.
All organisations in the United Kingdom that process personal information should comply with the General Data Protection Regulation. The GDPR is EU legislation that protects the public’s data privacy and security rights. In the United Kingdom, the Data Protection Act 2018 enacts the GDPR into our laws.
Employers should do the following to comply with the GDPR:
- Tell data subjects (including employees) why and how they’ll use the personal data it collects, processes and stores.
- Ensure there are security measures to safeguard personal data. For example, employers should train their staff on how to manage personal data effectively. And they should have an adequate computer security system.
Also, under the GDPR, personal data breach victims are entitled to claim data breach compensation. However, they have to prove that they suffered psychologically or financially.
Employers such as the Home Office may collect employees’ personal data for operational purposes. These employees would then be data subjects. Therefore, the GDPR would uphold the individual rights of employees in terms of data privacy.
Under the GDPR, the following data protection methods could be used:
- Firstly, the Home Office can only collect personal data if their employees have permitted them to do so.
- Secondly, they should be transparent about the reason why they are collecting personal data. They cannot use the data for another reason.
- Moreover, they should keep personal information up-to-date.
- And finally, they cannot share an employee’s personal data with a third party. That is unless the employee has given them permission to do so or there is another lawful reason.
Not all employee data breach claims against the Home Office are valid. To understand what justifications you might need, continue reading.
There are seven key principles of the GDPR, which uphold its core values. Below is an explanation of what these principles are and how employers should uphold them.
- Lawfulness, fairness and transparency: Firstly, employers should inform their data subjects of how they will use their data. What’s more, they should follow all relevant data protection laws when they process the data.
- Purpose limitation: When they collect personal data, they cannot process it for any reason other than the one stated. That is unless they have a lawful reason to share it without permission.
- Data minimisation: They should only collect the personal data that they need.
- Accuracy: They should keep personal data up-to-date. What’s more, the data they process should be accurate.
- Storage limitation: They should delete personal data when they no longer need it.
- Integrity and confidentiality (security): They should have a strong network security system to protect the personal data it stores or processes digitally.
- Accountability: They should be able to prove that they comply with the GDPR.
The General Data Protection Regulation protects employee personal data. Employers need to collect personal data on their employees for business purposes. In addition, employers may record job-specific information, such as job title and performance review results.
Here are some examples of the sort of data an employer may hold about employees:
- Email address
- Home Address
- Phone numbers
- Date of birth
- Racial or ethnic origin
- Political opinions
- Religious or philosophical beliefs
- Trade union membership
- Physical or mental health information
- Sexual orientation
- Biometrics (if used for identification purposes)
Employee data breaches can be a gross invasion of the employee’s privacy. What’s more, a worker may experience discrimination if information about their protected characteristics is breached. (Protected characteristics include gender, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.)
In addition, criminals may use the breached personal data to target employees for identity theft and fraud.
What is an employer data breach?
An employer data breach is when a security incident happens at an organisation, which affects the employee’s personal information unlawfully.
Why do data breaches happen?
An employee can make an error that grants unauthorised persons access to personal data. Alternatively, employee personal data can be lost or stolen. Or employee personal data can be destroyed, altered or encrypted without the employee’s authorisation. This can all be due to human error.
Sadly, a personal data breach can also happen if cybercriminals attack the organisation. The criminals may use ransomware or another type of malicious software to access staff personal records. The criminals may hold the stolen data to ransom or use it for fraudulent purposes, for example.
A potential data breach by the Home Office took place in 2019. The incident took place after the Home Office accidentally shared personal data belonging to 240 people. The individuals were EU citizens who were applying for settled status in the UK after Brexit. Their personal email addresses were shared.
Source URL: www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-data-breach-home-office-eu-citizens-settled-status-leak-a8864696.html
Sharing employee data without consent is considered a data breach under the GDPR. However, employers sometimes have a lawful basis for sharing personal data without the data subject’s permission:
- Legitimate interests. The employer may use it for legitimate interests relating to business.
- Vital interests. This is when the employer believes that they need to share the information because the employee’s life is at risk.
- Contract. They may need to use it in order to fulfil a contract you have with them.
- Legal obligation. This is where the employer is required by law to share an employee’s personal data.
- Public task. This is where personal data is shared as it’s in the public interest.
Do you have any questions about our guide to employee data breach claims against the Home Office? Click the banner below for assistance.
The employer should do the following if an employee data breach takes place:
- To begin, they should tell of the employee information data breach to the ICO if the freedoms and rights of data subjects are being risked. This should happen within 72 hours of knowledge of the breach taking place.
- And after that, they should notify the victims who’ve potentially had their freedoms and rights risked without undue delay. Data breach notification letters or emails can be used as evidence to support employee data breach claims.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) plays a vital role in enforcing the data privacy rights of the public. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is a public body in the UK. The ICO sees that data protection laws in the UK are upheld, including the GDPR (enacted into UK law through the Data Protection Act 2018).
What’s more, the Information Commissioner’s Office can conduct an investigation if a breach takes place at an organisation. And the ICO is also able to fine organisations for breaches of data privacy laws.
However, they can’t issue compensation to individuals for the psychological and financial harm they suffer after a data breach. This can be done through a personal data breach claim
The GDPR states that employers should protect their employees’ personal data. Does the term “employees” just refer to full-time, permanent members of staff? No. Anyone whose data is processed by an employer is a data subject. Therefore, the employee should protect their data privacy. This includes:
- Part-time workers
- Agency, contract and casual workers
- People who have applied for a job
- Interns and volunteer workers
The ICO employment practices code also offers further information for employers regarding personal data protection.
Should you go to the ICO immediately if you believe that your employer has breached your personal data privacy? Before involving the Information Commissioner’s Office, please try to resolve the matter internally with your employer.
You can write to your employer about the data breach and raise your concerns. Your employer may have already reported the data breach to the ICO. Please try escalating the complaint, if you don’t think your employer is taking the matter seriously.
The ICO recommend that you report an employee data breach of the GDPR to them, but only within 3 months of your last meaningful communication with your employer on the matter.
Have you been affected psychologically or financially by a data breach by the Home Office? Then you may be owed compensation for your suffering. You can use the data breach compensation table below to estimate how much money your claim could be worth.
Please be aware the table does not include material damages that you could be owed. This is compensation to reimburse you for the financial loss incurred because of the data breach.
But the table does include non-material damages data breach compensation parameters. Non-material damages are compensation for psychiatric injuries you experience because of the data breach.
We created the compensation table below using the Judicial College Guidelines. These guidelines can help solicitors to value conditions and injuries.
|Psycological Injury And Severity||Settlement Bracket||About This Injury And Level|
|Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||£56,180 to £94,470||Victims may be left with permanent PTSD symptoms and their effects.|
|Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||£21,730 to £56,180||This claimant should have a better future prognosis.|
|Less Severe - Psychiatric Injury||Up to £5,500||Compensation is based on factors such as how long symptoms have affected a claimant.|
|Moderate - Psychiatric Injury||£5,500 to £17,900||Again, this claimant should have a better outlook for recovery than above and they may already have started recovering.|
|Moderately Severe - Psychiatric Injury||£17,900 to £51,460||Claimants could be experiencing the same issues as above. This could be to a lesser degree and/or with a better recovery prognosis.|
|Severe Psychiatric Injury||£51,460 to £108,620||The prognosis is generally poor. Settlements are based on factors such as if the person can cope with aspects of everyday life such as relationships, education or work.|
How are data breach compensation payouts calculated?
You would need to attend a medical assessment as part of your claim. An independent medical professional would check your symptoms and create a report. The report could be used to prove that the personal data breach caused or worsened your injuries. You might also use the report to evidence the severity of your condition and value it.
How much compensation you could receive may vary, depending on your personal circumstances. You can contact an advisor who could estimate how much you might claim.
You may wish to use a No Win No Fee solicitor to claim compensation. Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you don’t have to worry about finding the funds to pay your solicitor their fees upfront.
That’s because your solicitor will start working on your case without charging you upfront or hourly solicitor fees. Instead, you will sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (the formal term for No Win No Fee agreement). This states that you will pay a success fee in the event the claim wins.
What’s more, the success fee is taken from the award at a lawfully capped rate. This would be a small percentage.
And, if the claim doesn’t win, you don’t have to pay solicitor fees. To find out more about No Win No Fee, get in touch.
Do you wish to know more about employee data breach claims against the Home Office? Why not contact us? Or you can use our chat widget to ask us a question online.
Alternatively, you can click on the banner below and contact Legal Expert.
We have included more resources below, so you can learn more about your workplace rights.
A guide to the rights of data subjects under the GDPR.
An online guide to raising concerns about a data privacy breach from the ICO.
FAQs On Breaches Of The GDPR In The Workplace
We will now answer some frequently asked questions about data breach claims.
What data could my employer hold on me?
Your employer may only hold personal data on you that is relevant to your role within the organisation. For example, this could include your name, address, contact details and work specific data such as your job title.
Can I ask to be forgotten?
Yes. The GDPR grants data subjects the right to be forgotten, in certain circumstances. This ICO guide on the right to get your data deleted has more information.
Can I see the data my employer holds about me?
Yes. The GDPR also allows data subjects the right to be informed of how their personal data will be used and to access it (or copies of it) when they request to.
Thank you for reading our guide exploring the justifications you might need to make employee data breach claims against the Home Office.
Guide by CHE
Edited by VIC
Rights To Data Protection In The Workplace
This guide about employee data breach claims against the DfT aims to give information to help.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is a government department. The DfT is responsible for helping local authorities with their road network in England. Moreover, the DfT is also responsible for rail infrastructure in England and Wales.
Have you been affected financially or mentally by a government data protection breach? Our advisors give free legal advice about the steps you could take if you’ve experienced a data protection breach by your employer. They can also help if you were not an employee but suffered due to a personal data breach.
To seek help from an advisor, please contact our support service. Or use Live Support to ask us a question directly.
However, if you are ready to claim data breach compensation, we can help. Click the banner that’s below to contact Legal Expert.
Select A Section
- What Are Employee Data Breach Claims Against The DfT?
- What Is The GDPR?
- How The GDPR Protects Department For Transport Employees
- The Main Data Protection Principles
- What Normal And Special Category Data Does GDPR Protect?
- Breaches Of GDPR Rules By An Employer
- What Could My Employer Have Done To Breach The GDPR?
- Can Your Employer Share Your Data Without Your Consent?
- Dealing With Breaches Of Security And GDPR
- What Is The ICO?
- Guidelines On Managing Employee Data Privacy
- Calculate Compensation For Employee Data Breach Claims Against The DfT
- Make A No Win No Fee Employee Data Breach Claim Against The DfT
- Related Services
- FAQs On Employee Data Protection Rights
The DfT is an employer in the UK. As an employer, they may have to process personal information regularly. Therefore, under the GDPR, they have a duty of care towards the personal data they collect from their employees. So, if DfT employees experience a personal data breach by their employer, they have the right to claim compensation.
However, in order to do so, they’d need to prove that they suffered financial loss or psychological harm, or both.
Please be aware that there is a six-year time limit for starting data breach claims. This begins from when you gained knowledge of the personal data breach. However, there is a one-year time limit if the data breach involved a human rights violation.
Do you hold evidence of a justifiable data breach compensation claim? Then contact Legal Expert by clicking on the banner placed throughout this guide.
The General Data Protection Regulation is EU data protection legislation. The purpose of the GDPR is to protect the public’s data privacy and data security rights. The Data Protection Act 2018 enacts the GDPR into the laws of the United Kingdom.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation, organisations have a duty of care to protect the personal information they collect from the public. This includes data that an organisation has collected from its employees.
In order to protect personal data, the organisation could have an adequate cybersecurity system in place. What’s more, they could instruct their staff to protect personal data. This could help prevent data breaches from occurring due to human error.
Under the GDPR, you have the right to claim compensation if an organisation breaks your personal data privacy and you suffer psychologically or financially as a result. For example, you can claim employer data breach compensation if your employer breached your personal data privacy.
The GDPR refers to individuals whose data is collected by an organisation as “data subjects”. These individuals can be employees, customers, research subjects, or anyone else the organisation has a relationship with. The Department for Transport has to abide by the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation. Therefore the GDPR protects Department for Transport employees’ personal information.
When the DfT collects personal data from their employees, they should do the following to comply with the GDPR:
- Firstly, they should only get personal data from employees if they have given them permission to do so. The employee may have to tick a box or give verbal consent to say they consent to have their data collected.
- Secondly, they should explain why the data is being collected. And consequently, they cannot use the personal data for another purpose. (However, there are certain circumstances where they can share your data without your consent.)
- What’s more, they should keep personal information up to date where possible. For example, if an employee advises the employer that they’ve changed address, the DfT should update their employee records.
Have you experienced a breach of the Data Protection Act by your employer? Then you may be eligible to claim compensation if you suffered mental harm or financial loss (or both). Continue reading this guide to learn more.
There are 7 core principles of the General Data Protection Regulation. Let’s look at what the core principles of the GDPR are and how they can be applied:
- Accountability. When the Information Commissioner’s Office asks employers that process personal data to prove that they have complied with the GDPR, they should be able to provide evidence.
- Integrity and confidentiality (security). They should have adequate security systems in place to protect the personal data they collect. To protect the privacy of data subjects, anonymisation techniques could be used.
- Storage limitation. They should delete personal data that they no longer need.
- Data minimisation. They should not collect data that they don’t need.
- Purpose limitation. Employers should only use personal data for the purpose it was collected for, unless there is a lawful exception.
- Lawfulness, fairness and transparency. When processing data, the DfT should inform data subjects of how their personal data will be used. What’s more, they should process this data lawfully.
- Accuracy. They should keep the personal data they collect up to date.
Personal data is defined as information that can identify (or be used with other information to identify) a specific individual. The General Data Protection Regulation protects all types of personal data that an organisation may collect.
An organisation may collect information that identifies an individual such as their name, date of birth and contact details.
Furthermore, an organisation may collect information about their employees’ protected characteristics, such as their race and gender. These are known as special categories.
An organisation may also collect job-specific information about its employees. This includes the employee’s job title, place of work, performance reviews and salary information.
What are the consequences of a data protection breach by an employer? The employee may be targeted by fraudsters and suffer a financial loss as a result. A data breach can also be a gross violation of an employee’s privacy, which can lead to the employee suffering emotional distress.
This guide aims to give information about employee data breach claims against the DfT to help you. If you have unanswered questions, reach out.
What is a personal data breach by your employer? A data breach begins with a security incident. This leads to personal information being disclosed, lost, altered, accessed or destroyed without authorisation or unlawfully. A potential employee data breach at the Department for Transport would involve personal data belonging to its employees.
A data breach can happen if employee data is, for example:
- Lost or stolen.
- Encrypted or altered without authorisation.
- Leaked or exposed without authorisation.
Personal data breaches can be accidental or deliberate. For example, they might happen due to human error or due to cybercriminal activity.
How could a data breach at the Department for Transport happen?
Unfortunately, cybercriminals or people with malicious intentions are sometimes responsible for personal data breaches. Insider threat is one example. This is when an individual that has affiliations with the organisation intentionally leaks personal data to the public or a third party. They may do so for financial gain or for other reasons. Employers could provide the appropriate security measures and staff training to avoid this.
Employers could also fall victim to a cyber attack. For example, criminals may carry out a ransomware attack. Ransomware is a type of malware that can be used to steal or block an organisation’s access to personal information unless a ransom is paid. Employers could prevent this by providing good security.
Unfortunately, a breach of an employee’s personal data privacy can be caused by human error. For example, a letter containing an employee’s personal information may be sent to the wrong address. If the recipient isn’t authorised to access this information but they do anyway, it would be a data breach. This is because the employee’s data will be shared with an unauthorised third party.
Similarly, it could be considered a data breach if an employer publishes a document containing personal information online. That is, providing the data subjects haven’t consented to it.
This guide on the potentialities of data breach claims against the DfT aims to give you answers. To discuss data breach compensation, get in touch.
Employers should not share their employees’ personal data without their consent. There are lawful exceptions to this rule.
- Firstly when vital interests are at stake. This means that the employer shares an employee’s personal data because they believe an employee’s life is at risk. For example, a manager might share personal information with a paramedic about an employee who has collapsed at work.
- Secondly, if an employer has a legal obligation to share personal data, they can do so without the employee’s consent. For example, the employer can share information about the employee’s salary with HMRC.
- Thirdly, if the employer has a contract that can only be fulfilled if they use personal information, they can do so.
- If the employer has to perform a public task that’s in the public interest, they can process personal data without consent.
- They may also process data for legitimate interests in relation to business.
If your employer shared your personal information without consent or unlawfully, they might have committed a data breach.
In this section of our guide exploring employee data breach claims against the DfT, we look at what happens after data breaches occur.
Employers should avoid data security breaches at all costs. However, if a data breach does take place, the employer should take action.
- Firstly, they could inform the Information Commissioner’s Office that the data breach has taken place. They would only have to action this if it risks the freedoms and rights of data subjects. They would have 72 hours to inform the ICO.
- Secondly, if data subjects’ freedoms and rights are impacted, they should be sent notifications from the employer.
- And finally, the employer should conduct its own internal investigation, regardless of whether rights and freedoms are at risk or not. The investigation should determine how the data breach took place and, consequently, what actions the employer should take.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the public body that upholds personal data security as well as data privacy rights. The ICO can enforce data protection laws in the UK such as the Data Protection Act 2018.
How does the ICO enforce the GDPR?
The Information Commissioner’s Office can issue fines to organisations that breach the GDPR. They can also investigate and work with organisations to make changes to their data protection processes.
Should you report a breach of the Data Protection Act by your employer to the ICO?
If you believe that there has been an employee information data breach at your place of work, we recommend that you first make a formal complaint to your employer. If you are dissatisfied with the reply you get, you can escalate your complaint. After you have exhausted all channels of communication, you could report your concerns via the ICO.
Nevertheless, the ICO recommends you complain to them within three months of the final response from your employer. If you contact them after this time period, it could affect what action they take.
Remember, you don’t need to complain to the ICO in order to make a data breach compensation claim.
The GDPR states that employers that process personal information should uphold the data protection rights of its employees. They should also protect the personal data of other data subjects. This could include:
- Job applicants (whether successful or not)
- Full time, permanent staff
- Part-time, permanent staff
- Contract workers
- Agency workers
- Casual workers
- People taking part in internships.
Have you been affected financially or psychologically by a UK government data protection breach? Then you may be eligible to claim compensation. Contact us today for free legal advice about claiming compensation.
What happens if there is evidence to back up valid employee data breach claims against the DfT? You may be wondering if you are eligible to claim compensation. If you are able to, it would be for financial loss, mental harm or both.
In the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc , the Court of Appeal stated that you are eligible to claim compensation for the psychological fallout of a data breach under the following circumstances:
- That you have suffered emotional distress as a result of the personal data breach.
- The compensation is calculated as it would be under personal injury law.
Below, we have a compensation table that you could use to estimate compensation for non-material damages. This is compensation for any psychological injuries or emotional distress that you have suffered.
The table does not include any material damages you could claim. Material damages are compensation to reimburse you for any financial losses you have experienced because of the data breach.
|Psychological Injury Type||Level||Compensation||Comments On The Injury|
|Psychiatric Injury||Severe||£51,460 to £108,620||Psychiatric injury compensation involves the following: the person's ability to continue with their relationships, education or life as before.
Patients at this level may have a poor outlook regarding recovery.
|Psychiatric Injury||Moderately Severe||£17,900 to £51,460||This claimant should have a better future outlook.|
|Psychiatric Injury||Moderate||£5,500 to £17,900||Whilst still experiencing issues in the same areas of life, the claimant should have a better prospect of recovery than the above.|
|Psychiatric Injury||Less Severe||Up to £5,500||Any compensation awarded may be based on the duration of symptoms and the severity of their effects.|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Severe||£56,180 to £94,470||The person affected by PTSD could suffer long-term or permanent symptoms and effects.|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Moderately Severe||£21,730 to £56,180||Claimants with moderately severe degrees of PTSD should have better prognosis for recovery.|
The compensation amounts in the table above are based on guidelines from the Judicial College. These guidelines may be used by solicitors to help them when valuing injuries.
The figures above should be a good indication of what amount of compensation you could claim. However, for a personalised quote, reach out to us. An advisor can estimate how much you could claim accurately.
You may have heard the term No Win No Fee. A No Win No Fee agreement is a method of funding the services of a solicitor. It means that you will pay a success fee if you win your data breach claim. However, if your claim is not successful, you will not have to pay any solicitor fees.
Why Do Some People Prefer To Make A No Win No Fee Claim?
- In the unlikely outcome that you do not win your claim, you will not have to pay solicitor fees.
- For many, it is the more affordable option when funding a solicitor. There is not an upfront legal fee to pay.
- Instead, the success fee is deducted from the employer data breach compensation payout. The success fee’s legally capped to a smaller percentage.
Do you wish to know more about data protection governance and No Win No Fee? Or do you need free legal advice about claiming compensation for a breach of your personal data privacy? Then please contact us. Alternatively, click on the banner below.
We hope you have found this guide regarding the concept of employee data breach claims against the DfT helpful. You may also be interested in these guides about your employee rights in the UK:
Data Protection Time Limits: An ICO guide on how long companies have to respond to a data protection rights request.
Be Data-Aware: A guide to how organisations may use your personal data, from the ICO.
An ICO guide on your right to limit how organisations use your data.
We will now answer some frequently asked questions about protecting employee data.
How long does the GDPR allow employee data to be kept?
The GDPR requires employers to not keep personal data when they no longer have a use for it.
Is salary information protected by data privacy laws?
Salary information is personal data. Organisations should keep employees’ salary information private. However, there may sometimes be a lawful basis for sharing information about employees’ salaries, such as providing salary information to HMRC.
How long does HR have to keep employee records?
HR departments should delete employee records when they’re no longer of use in regards to the reason the personal information was collected in the first place.
What is data protection in the workplace?
Data protection in the workplace involves the safeguarding of the employees’ data. Employers can protect employees’ data by adhering to data protection laws.
Thank you for reading our guide to employee data breach claims against the DfT.
Guide by CHE
Edited by VIC
What Rights Do Employees Have If An Employer Breaches Their Data Privacy?
In this guide, we will explain what could justify employee data breach claims against the DWP. Has a DWP employee data breach affected you? Then continue reading to learn more about personal data breaches.
What is the DWP? The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is the UK’s largest public service department. It is responsible for pensions, welfare and child maintenance policy. The DWP administers pensions and benefits to over 20 million claimants in the UK. The DWP is an organisation that operates in the UK. Therefore it has to follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was enacted into UK law through the Data Protection Act 2018.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation, organisations have a duty of care towards any personal data they collect from the public. Therefore, if an employee information data breach occurs, the DWP could be liable for any psychological or financial harm caused. The Information Commissioner’s Office may fine the Department for Work and Pensions. What’s more, if the DWP breaches an employee’s personal data privacy and they suffer mentally or financially, the employee could claim compensation from them.
What Can I Do If My Personal Data Was Breached?
We have provided you with advice about claiming compensation for a personal data breach in this guide. So continue reading to learn more about what evidence could justify employee data breach claims against the DWP. Or you could contact us for further information.
Alternatively, click the banner below to get in touch with Legal Expert if you would like to see if you could begin a claim.
Select A Section
- What Is Data Protection Law?
- Does The GDPR Protect The Department Of Work And Pensions Employees?
- The GDPR’s 7 Principles of Data Protection
- What Data Is Protected Under The GDPR?
- How Can An Employer Breach Data Protection Law?
- How Could The DWP Breach Employees’ Data Privacy?
- Reasons Why An Employee Could Claim Against The DWP
- Claims For The Sharing Of Employees’ Personal Information Without Consent
- What Is The Role Of The ICO?
- The ICO’s Employer Practice Guide
- Who Can I Report My Employer To If They Breach My Data?
- Calculating Compensation Payouts For Data Protection Breaches
- Employee Data Breach Claims Against The DWP No Win No Fee Agreement
- More Data Breach Resources
- FAQs On Government Employee Data Privacy
The General Data Protection Regulation (often abbreviated to GDPR) is EU data protection legislation. The Data Protection Act 2018 enacts the GDPR into United Kingdom law. The purpose of the General Data Protection Regulation is to uphold people’s data privacy and data security. Subsequently, this legislation applies to every business and organisation in the UK that processes personal information.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation, organisations such as the Department for Work and Pensions should do the following:
- Have a duty of care towards the data it collects. This means that they are responsible for protecting it.
- Have systems to protect personal data. For example, training staff on data protection techniques and having an adequate cybersecurity system in place.
The General Data Protection Regulation refers to “data subjects”. A data subject is an individual whose personal data is collected by an organisation. Under the GDPR, organisations that process data subjects’ personal information should protect that data.
How Should The DWP Protect Data Subjects?
Under the GDPR, the Department for Work and Pensions could do the following:
- Only collect personal data if the data subject has permitted them to do so.
- Explain why they will use the personal data. Moreover, they must not use the data for another purpose.
- Keep the data that it has collected up to date where reasonably possible.
- Not share personal information without consent. However, they could share the data without your consent if there’s a lawful exception.
What’s more, individuals are permitted rights under the GDPR. This includes the right to access their personal data and the right to restrict data processing under certain circumstances.
To clarify, employers need to protect their employees’ personal data if they collect or process it. Therefore, if a DWP staff data breach takes place and employees have evidence that they suffered mentally or financially, they may have the right to claim compensation. To learn more about claiming data breach compensation, please feel free to contact our support service.
There are seven core principles of the General Data Protection Regulation. Let’s look at what these are, below.
- Lawfulness, fairness and transparency: This means that organisations should process data in a lawful manner. What’s more, organisations should inform data subjects of how they will use their data.
- Purpose limitation: This means that personal data should only be processed for the reason stated. The organisation should not process personal data for any other reason.
- Data minimisation: This means that organisations should not collect more personal data than they need to.
- Accuracy: This means that organisations keep their database accurate and up to date if it contains personal information. For example, an employee’s address should be updated on the database, if they inform the employer that they have moved house and provide them with the address.
- Storage limitation: This means that organisations should not keep personal data longer than necessary. Organisations should delete personal data when they no longer need it.
- Integrity and confidentiality (security): This means that organisations should use security and anonymisation systems (for example) to protect the personal data they have collected.
- Accountability: When asked, an organisation’s data controllers should be able to provide evidence that they have complied with the GDPR. If they haven’t, they should be accountable for this.
This guide aims to help those considering an employee data breach claims against the DWP. However, if you have unanswered questions, get in touch.
Personal data is information that distinguishes an individual. It is normal for organisations such as the Department for Work and Pensions to collect, process and store employee personal data.
Here are some examples of employee personal data that an employer may collect:
- Email address
- Home address
- Telephone number
- Banking information
- Date of birth
- Race or ethnic group
- Religion or lack thereof
- Marital status
- Whether or not the employee has a disability or any notable health conditions
In addition, the Department of Work and Pensions will collect job specific personal data from their employees. For example, the organisation may collect data about an employee’s job role, job location, information about performance reviews and salary information.
How do organisations store personal data?
The organisation may store the data in a filing system or electronically. Or the data may be part of a record that only authorised persons can access. No matter how it’s stored, if it is personal data, the employer has a responsibility to secure it from unauthorised persons.
What is a data breach by an employer? A data breach is caused by a security breach that leads to personal data being lost, destroyed, accessed, changed or disclosed without authorisation or a lawful basis. A staff data breach can happen because of human error, or deliberately (for example, because an organisation was attacked by hackers).
An employee data breach could include the following incidents:
- An unauthorised person gains access to personal data.
- Personal data is lost, stolen or destroyed.
- Employee personal data is altered or encrypted.
- There is a personal data leak or data exposure incident.
As we have just mentioned, employee data breaches of the GDPR can happen because of errors that were made by employees. For example, the employer could send a letter to an employee. However, they may accidentally send the letter to the wrong address and an unauthorised recipient may access it. Therefore the organisation would be sharing personal information without consent or a lawful basis. These mistakes could be considered a privacy violation and a data protection breach.
On the other hand, a data breach can also happen if cybercriminals intentionally cause a data breach. For instance, the employer may be the target of a cyber-attack. This means that cybercriminals may attack the organisation using malware (malicious software). After that, the criminals may gain unlawful access to the organisation’s database and use the stolen data for malicious or illegal purposes.
Have you been affected mentally or financially by a DWP data breach? Contact us today about making data breach claims to find out more.
Now let’s look at an example of a DWP data protection breach, which took place in recent years. This DWP data breach involved the breach of the DWP claimant’s personal data.
In March and June 2018 the DWP published files online, which included information about routine payments made to outsourcing company Capita. Unfortunately, the files contained National Insurance Numbers (NI numbers) belonging to approximately 6,000 people. These individuals claimed Personal Independence Payments (PIP) through the DWP. PIP is a type of disability benefit. Unfortunately, the files remained online for over two years.
In November 2020 the privacy rights group Big Brother Watch discovered the DWP breach of the Data Protection Act. The organisation alerted the DWP and the Mirror newspaper. Consequently, the files were removed. The Department for Work and Pensions apologised for the data breach.
Have you been affected by a government department data breach, such as the one above? Or have you been impacted mentally or financially by a DWP staff data breach? If you can prove you have evidence of a valid claim, then you may be eligible to claim GDPR data breach compensation. Use the banner throughout the guide to contact Legal Expert.
Source URL: www.itpro.co.uk/security/data-breaches/357724/dwp-data-breach-exposed-6000-ni-numbers
You may be eligible to make employee data breach claims under the following circumstances:
- You are an employee or former employee of the DWP and they hold your personal data. Therefore the organisation has a duty of care towards your personal data.
- An employee information data breach took place, which compromised your personal data.
- So consequently, your personal data privacy was breached. As a result, you experienced emotional distress, financial losses or both.
Sometimes a data breach lawyer can handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that there is a lesser financial risk for you when using the services of a solicitor to claim.
To begin your employee data breach claim, contact Legal Expert today using the banner shown throughout this article. If the data breach violated your human rights, the time limit is reduced to one year. Therefore, we recommend contacting Legal Expert as soon as possible to see if you can begin the data breach claims process right away.
Normally, sharing personal information without consent is not allowed under the General Data Protection Regulation. However, there is a lawful basis for employers to share personal data without consent in certain circumstances. These are as follows:
- Vital interests: This is when an employer believes an employee’s life is at risk. For example, if an employee needs emergency medical treatment and an employer shares private medical information with paramedics or doctors.
- Legal obligation: This is when an employer shares an employee’s personal data because they are required to by law. For example, an employer shares an employee’s salary information with HMRC.
- Contract: They may use it to fulfil a contract with you.
- Public task: If sharing your data is in the public’s interest, they could do so.
- Legitimate interests: They may share your data for business interests.
You can claim compensation from your employer if they have shared your personal data without consent or without a lawful reason to do so and it’s caused you psychological harm or financial loss.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is a public body in the United Kingdom. Their role is to protect the data privacy rights of the public. They do so by enforcing the General Data Protection Regulation and UK legislation such as the Data Protection Act 2018.
The ICO has the power to investigate companies and organisations that commit employee data breaches under the GDPR. Furthermore, the Information Commissioner’s Office can administer fines to organisations that have committed data breaches.
The ICO has an employment practices code to help employers understand their role in data protection. Employers are legally required to protect personal data that belongs to their employees if they collect or process it. The term “employees” includes individuals that meet the following criteria:
- Full-time employees
- Part-time employees
- Casual workers, agency workers and contract workers
- Interns and voluntary workers
- People who have applied for jobs, whether successful or not
What should you do if you believe that your employer has breached your personal data privacy? Firstly, we recommend that you report the data breach to your employer. Escalate the complaint, if you are not happy with the response you receive.
You can report the data protection breach to the ICO if you are not satisfied with the way your employer has dealt with the matter. However, you would have to do so within three months of your employer’s final response. The ICO may investigate the DWP for the GDPR data breach.
Do you wish to make employee data breach claims against the DWP? If a claimant has a valid claim and it’s successful, they could receive compensation. To see how mental suffering is valued, use the compensation table below.
The compensation table only includes non-material damages compensation. Non-material damages compensate you for psychological harm caused by the data breach.
The table does not include material damages, which compensate you for any financial loss the data breach causes.
|Type of psychological injury||Seriousness||Compensation range||About the injury|
|Psychiatric Injury||Severe||£51,460 to £108,620||The claimant may experience marked issues with the following factors:
1) Their ability to cope with things such as education, work or other parts of their life.
2) The impact the injury has had on their relationships.
3) The prognosis.
|Psychiatric Injury||Moderately Severe||£17,900 to £51,460||The claimant will experience significant problems with reference to the factors highlighted above. However, this person should have a better prognosis.|
|Psychiatric Injury||Moderate||£5,500 to £17,900||Whilst the claimant will experience problems with these factors, they should have a better prognosis than the categories above.|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Severe||£56,180 to £94,470||This person may experience permanent systems of PTSD. Symptoms could include night terrors, suicidal ideation and hyper-arousal.
PTSD could impact all areas of the claimants life.
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Moderately Severe||£21,730 to £56,180||This person could be affected in a similar way to those above. They should expect a better prognosis with professional care.|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Less Severe||Up to £7,680||The person would have had practically a full recovery within two years.|
This table is based on the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a publication solicitors may use to help them when valuing conditions.
Of course, the amount of compensation you could receive may vary. A data breach solicitor can accurately estimate how much compensation you could claim. Get in touch if you’d like a more accurate estimate.
If you use the services of a data breach lawyer, you may want them to handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. No Win No Fee is a way of funding your solicitor for an employer data breach with less financial risk.
This is because, instead of paying a solicitor’s fee before the solicitor starts work on your claim, you will pay a success fee at the end of your claim. However, your solicitor will have to meet certain conditions before they can charge you a success fee.
Why Do Some People Prefer To Make A No Win No Fee Claim?
- It is more affordable because there is no upfront solicitor’s fee to pay. Instead, your lawyer will deduct your success fee from your compensation payout.
- The success fee is legally capped.
- The financial risk is lower because you won’t have to pay the solicitor’s fee unless you win.
To ask us a question about claiming compensation for a DWP staff data breach, please contact us. You can contact us to ask us a question or use the live chat on your screen. On the other hand, if you have evidence of a valid claim, contact Legal Expert.
More Data Breach Resources
Here is some more information on employer data breaches.
Guidance from the ICO about raising concerns over an employer data breach.
Information from the ICO on how to be data-aware.
Dealing With Workplace Problems – Some helpful guidance from Acas on trying to resolve workplace issues.
Who else should I report my data breach to?
If you believe you have been affected by a government department data breach, you may wish to raise a formal complaint with them. If they fail to deal with the data breach correctly, you can report the organisation to the ICO.
Does the ICO have to have fined the DWP for me to claim?
No, the ICO does not have to fine the Department for Work and Pensions, for you to make a data breach claim.
How long do I have to claim?
There is a data breach claims time limit of six years from the date you obtained knowledge of the breach. Alternatively, if the data breach involved a violation of human rights, you would have one year.
How long do claims take?
Sometimes the data breach claims process only takes a few months. Compensation claims that involve a complex data breach case can take longer to settle.
Thank you for reading our guide exploring the justifications behind potential employee data breach claims against the DWP.
Guide by CHE
Edited by VIC
What Are Your Privacy Rights After A Data Breach?
Employee data breach claims against IAG could be justifiable if you’ve fallen victim to a data security incident in which your personal information is compromised unlawfully. The breach will need to have led to you suffering damage to your mental health or finances.
Employers must take data protection seriously and there are laws in the UK they must follow. If an employer fails to protect your personal information which results in a privacy violation, you could seek compensation if you suffer mental or financial damage as a consequence.
We have produced this guide to provide information on how a data breach could happen. You will find information on when to seek legal advice from an expert. In the following sections, we cover how much a data breach claim against an employer could be worth. Furthermore, we explain how compensation is worked out and the sort of damages you could seek.
To find out more about making a data breach claim against IAG, please click on the sections below. To get in touch with a member of our team, please fill out the contact form by clicking here.
Alternatively, if you would like to begin a claim straight away, please click on the banner on this page or call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804 to receive a free assessment of your claim.
Select A Section
- What Is An Employee Data Breach Claims Against IAG?
- What Is The Purpose Of GDPR?
- Data Protection In The Workplace
- How Many GDPR Principles Are There?
- What Is A Breach Of The GDPR In The Workplace?
- Workplace Data The DPA Protects
- How Employers Could Be In Breach Of The General Data Protection Regulation
- Consent And Lawful Data Sharing Practices
- What Steps Should Employers Take To Deal With Data Breaches?
- What Does The Office Of The ICO Do?
- Guidelines On How To Protect Employee Data
- Reporting Workplace Data Protection Breaches
- Calculate Employee Data Breach Claims Against IAG
- No Win No Fee Workplace And Employee Data Breach Claims Against IAG
- Workplace Data Protection Resources
- FAQs On Protecting Data At Work
A data breach claim against IAG could be warranted for several reasons. As an employer, IAG is a data controller. Therefore, your employer decides how your personal information is collected, processed, and stored.
As an IAG employee, you are a data subject and there are laws that protect how your personal information is processed and used by your employer. However, your information may be processed and stored by a third party which is known as a data processor.
There are many reasons why an employee data breach could happen whether intentionally, accidentally, or criminally. Whatever the reason for the breach, when personal data and privacy is compromised, you could file a claim for compensation.
For a data breach claim against IAG to be valid, you must prove:
- Your personal data was unlawfully accessed
- You suffered damage to your mental health or finances as a result of the breach
- IAG was responsible for the breach occurring
Time Limits to Making a Data Breach Claim Against IAG
You also must make your claim in time. There is a 6-year time limit attached to data breach claims. The deadline runs from the time you obtained knowledge of the breach. You have 6 years to claim in standard cases, however, when your human rights are affected by a breach, you only have 1 year to seek compensation.
As such, it is far wiser to seek legal advice sooner rather than later just in case the shorter time limit applies to your case.
The General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR sets out the rules that govern how personal data is used. Your employer must abide by these strict rules to ensure data safety. Along with the General Data Protection Regulation, the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), all data controllers must have a legal basis for collecting and processing data. Furthermore, your employer must have your permission to do so.
The GDPR and the DPA 2018 also requires that employers (data controllers) keep personal data secure. To ensure your personal information is protected at all times, your employer should have robust security protocols in place.
These protocols should apply to online and offline security. An employer, therefore, should have robust cyber-security and carry out regular testing of their defences. They must also have robust physical security measures in place to protect your physical data, such as ensuring storage cabinets are locked.
When you are employed by IAG, your employer will store information about you. This should only be what is required. As time goes by, an employer may gather more personal data about you which is both personal and sensitive.
When there is a data breach and your data is unlawfully accessed or shared, the consequences can be far-reaching. You may suffer financial losses, identity theft, or be the victim of fraud. That said, if a file containing sensitive information is left open on a desk, sensitive data about you could be seen by other people.
Data protection in the workplace is of paramount importance and employers must do all they can to protect the information they hold. When there is a breach and data is stolen or shared without permission, you could seek data breach compensation if you go on to suffer mental or financial damage.
Whether the breach was due to a criminal cyber-attack, because of human error, or it was accidental, you still have the right to seek data breach compensation if you have evidence it was the fault of your employer.
There are 7 key principles contained within GDPR which are detailed below:
- Data controllers must use lawful, transparent, and fair methods when processing data
- Organisations that collect and process data must only collect and process data that is required ‘for purpose’
- Data must be used for specified reasons and no other reason
- Personal data must be correct and up-to-date
- Secure methods must be used when processing personal data
- Data must not be kept for longer than necessary
- Organisations that collect and process personal data must abide by the regulations and be accountable
For more advice and support about data breach claims against an employer, please use our contact form. You can also use our Live Chat to speak to an expert adviser.
A data breach in the workplace may happen accidentally, or it could be due to human error. In short, a breach of the GDPR and the DPA 2018 does not have to involve cyber-criminals or hackers. Whatever the cause of the breach, employee data breach claims against an employer could be valid if you suffer damage to your finances or mental health because of their failings.
A data breach could be due to the following:
- An email is sent to the wrong recipient containing your personal information
- Cyber-criminals target your employer with phishing emails and other sorts of cyber-attacks
- Someone gains access to your personal information that is not securely stored whether in a physical file or online
- Devices are lost or stolen that contain data that is not encrypted
- A file containing personal data is left exposed on a desk
- A computer screen is left on displaying someone’s personal data
Personal data that directly or indirectly identify an individual is protected by the Data Protection Act 2018.
The sort of personal data that could identify you directly includes:
- Personal address
- Personal email
- Private telephone number
- National Insurance Number
- Financial information
Personal data that could indirectly identify you:
- A disability
- Race or ethnicity
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Religious belief
Your personal data stored by an employer whether physically or electronically is protected by the GDPR and the DPA 2018.
Please use our Live Chat to speak to an adviser, or you can fill out our contact form and a member of our team will get back to you. You will receive free advice on how to go about making a data breach claim against your employer.
There is a database the Information Commissioner’s Office holds of action taken against organisations (data controllers) that failed to follow data protection law. A breach was reported by British Airways which is owned by IAG in 2018. The breach saw 420,000 customer and staff data illegally accessed. It related to personal and financial information and led to a record fine of £20m.
Employers in the UK who do not follow the law, or who fail to have the required online and offline security protocols in place could be in breach of the law.
To discuss a data breach claim against an employer, you can either fill out the contact form by clicking here, or you can speak to an adviser using the Live Chat option.
Your employer must have your explicit consent to share any personal data they collect, process or store about you. That said, there are circumstances when your data could be lawfully shared without your consent. Examples of when an employer could share your data with another party include:
- When HMRC requests information about you for tax and payroll purposes
- If a life is at risk
- If it is in the public interest to share your data
When an employer has the right to share your private data with other parties, the data shared must only be information that is necessary.
To find out more about making a data breach claim against an employer, please use our Live Chat. You can also fill out our contact form and a member of our team will get straight back to you.
When an employer is made aware of a data breach, there are specific actions they are obliged to take. This includes:
- Reporting the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within 72 hours
- Launch an internal investigation into how the breach happened
- Establish how much data was accessed in the breach
- Determine who is affected by the breach
- Inform anyone affected by the breach without undue delay
- Set in place mitigation protocols
When your employer tells you about a data breach whether by email or by post, you must keep copies. The information will strengthen your case if you want to make an employee data breach claim.
To connect with an adviser, please use our contact form. Alternatively, you can opt to chat with an adviser on our Live Chat.
The Information Commissioner’s Office’s job (ICO) is to enforce data protection law in the UK. However, the ICO’s role is not just limited to enforcing data protection regulations. The authority also:
- Hold databases of actions they have taken and fee-paying organisations
- Responsible for enforcing several different pieces of legislation
- Dealing with reports relating to data breaches
- Providing data protection guidelines to data controllers and processors
- Issuing fines to organisations that are in breach of data protection law
- Making recommendations to organisations in breach of the law to help ensure compliance
The Information Commissioner’s Office has the power to enforce heavy penalties on organisations that do not abide by data protection laws. These fines can go into the hundreds of thousands of pounds depending on the severity of a data breach.
To find out if you have a valid data breach claim against IAG, please get in touch today by filling out the contact form, or by chatting to an adviser via our Live Chat.
The Information Commissioner’s Office provides organisations with guidelines to reduce the risk of data breaches happening. The ICO also provides essential training documentation to data controllers. An example being the Employment Practices Code.
If you think your personal data is compromised and you want to know if you have a valid claim, please click on our contact form page above. An experienced adviser will get back to you without delay.
When your personal information or privacy is compromised in a breach, you have the right to request that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) investigates the event. That said, you should try to resolve the problem with your employer before contacting the ICO.
To do so, you can try the following:
- Send your employer a formal complaint
- If you are unhappy with your employer’s response, take the matter further
- Contact the Information Commissioner’s Office to report your concerns
However, you must not wait too long before contacting the ICO to make a complaint because if you do, the authority may not want to investigate the breach.
For more information on how to report a data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), please get in touch with a member of our team today.
When you make a successful data breach claim against IAG, you could receive two forms of compensation. These are:
- Non-material damages for the injuries/mental ham you suffered, such as stress, anxiety or depression
- Material damages for any financial losses you incurred
An important ruling was made in the Court of Appeal in the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc . It was held that:
- Victims of a data breach can claim non-material damages for mental harm caused by a data breach even when no financial losses are incurred
- The amounts awarded for non-material damages should be based on personal injury law with guidance sought from the Judicial College Guidelines
The table below provides an idea of the sort of compensation you could receive for mental harm. The amounts are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) which courts, personal injury lawyers, and insurers refer to when valuing a claim.
|Mental Harm||Severity||Compensation awarded for non-material damages based on Judicial College Guidelines|
|Psychiatric harm||Severe||£51,460 to £108,620|
|Psychiatric harm||Moderately Severe||£17,900 to £51,460|
|Psychiatric harm||Moderate||£5,500 to £17,900|
|Psychiatric harm||Less Severe||Up to £5,500|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD||Severe||£56,180 to £94,470|
|PTSD||Moderately Severe||£21,730 to £56,180|
|PTSD||Moderate||£7,680 to £21,730|
|PTSD||Less Severe||Up to £7,680|
Please note, the amounts are provided as a general guideline only. For an accurate estimate, you would need to discuss your case in more detail with an expert lawyer. Why not click one of the Legal Expert banners above to speak to someone today?
You may be worried about paying for legal representation which can be expensive. However, many personal injury lawyers provide clients with No Win No Fee terms. This means you only pay for a No Win No Fee lawyer’s services when you receive data breach compensation. In short, you will not pay an upfront fee, and you will not have to pay ongoing fees.
However, a No Win No Fee lawyer will need to review your claim before offering these terms. That said, when they find you have good reason to sue for data breach compensation, they will send you a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee agreement). You need to read the Terms and Conditions set out in the contract before signing it and returning it to the solicitor.
A No Win No Fee lawyer will take a small percentage of the compensation you are awarded. This is the ‘success fee’ which is legally capped. To find out whether you could make a No Win No Fee data breach claim against IAG, please fill out our contact form. Alternatively, you can click on the Legal Expert banner to receive free advice on how best to proceed with your claim.
Links to useful internal guides to data breach claims:
Links to helpful sites relating to data breaches:
Below we have provided some answers to frequently asked questions about data breaches.
What is a data controller?
A data controller is an organisation that collects, processes, and stores the personal data of an individual (data subject).
What is a data subject?
A data subject is an individual whose data is collected, processed and stored by an organisation (data controller).
When could you be compensated?
When your personal data or privacy is compromised in a data breach, you could seek compensation.
How long could a claim take?
how long a data breach claim takes to settle will depend on the severity of a breach. Data breach claims can be settled in a few months, whereas more serious claims can take a few years to settle.
Thank you for reading our article on data breach claims against IAG.
Guide by WD
Edited by BER
What Are Your Rights If The Army Breached Your Data Privacy?
Our guide explores potential employee data breach claims against the British Army. If you’ve suffered psychological or financial harm because of an employee personal data breach, you may be considering seeking compensation.
If you’ve suffered due to a data breach that was caused accidentally, due to a malicious cyberattack, or because of poor data security, you could have the right to make such a claim. After all, data protection laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 give data subjects certain rights. One of these rights is to claim compensation for non-material and material damages resulting from a breach.
Material damages compensate your for financial losses. Non-material damages compensate you for psychological harm.
There are many different incidents that could lead to a data breach. Your employer could breach you personal data by sharing it without your consent and unlawfully. Or, you could fall victim to a cyber attack using ransomware, malware or a virus to breach data on cloud databases.
Someone could hack through a firewall or into a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to steal personal data. But these are not the only ways a data privacy breach could happen. As well as protecting computer security and network security, the British Army should protect personal data that is in filing cabinets and notebooks. A failure to do so could cause a data breach. If it harms your mental health or finances, you could be eligible to claim data breach compensation.
How Could This Guide Help?
In this guide, we explain in detail what’s involved in the data breach claim process. We explain what laws are in place to protect your data privacy, what rights you have and who enforces them.
We also offer guidance on starting a claim. If you’d like to speak to us about the information within this guide, please don’t hesitate to click the Live Chat button to contact us. Otherwise, if you have evidence of a valid personal data breach claim, and would like to connect with a data breach lawyer, why not click the banner for Legal Expert below to see if you could access help?
Select A Section
- What Is An Employee GDPR Data Breach Claim Against The British Army?
- What Is The General Data Protection Regulation?
- Does The GDPR Protect British Army Employees’ Data?
- What Are The GDPR’s 7 Principles?
- Data The DPA And GDPR Protect
- What Is A Breach Of Employee Data Privacy?
- How Employers May Be In Breach Of The DPA Or GDPR
- Obtaining Consent For Sharing Employees’ Personal Information
- What Could Happen When An Employer Breaches The GDPR?
- What Is The Information Commissioner’s Office?
- ICO Guidelines On Handling Employee Data
- Reporting Data Breaches By Your Employer To The ICO
- Calculating Compensation For A GDPR Data Breach Claim Against The British Army
- Make A No Win No Fee GDPR Data Breach Claim Against The British Army
- Resources On Data Protection
- GDPR: FAQs For Data Breaches In The Army
There are strict laws in place when it comes to the privacy of your personal data. Your employer should abide by these laws, whether you are a public or private sector employee. They should take steps to protect the personal data they hold about you, whether this relates to health data, personnel data, or even your financial information.
If an employer breaches your data privacy and security, your data could fall into the wrong hands. This could mean that you may suffer financial harm caused by identity fraud and theft for example. But a data breach may also mean you suffering psychological injuries such as anxiety or depression.
Employee data breach claims against the British Army may not completely erase what has happened to you. However, the compensation you could receive could help you move forward after such a claim.
In general terms, to make a claim for data breach compensation you would need to provide evidence that your personal information was affected in a data breach and it caused you emotional or financial harm.
You would also need to ensure you claim within the appropriate limitation period, which is generally 6 years from when you gained knowledge of the breach. You would have just 1 year for a personal data breach involving a human rights breach. This guide explains what you may need to know about making such claims for compensation.
As arguably the strictest data security and privacy law in the world, the GDPR, which came into force in 2018, protects the data privacy of EU data subjects. A data subject is someone whose personal data is processed.
The GDPR mandates a set of standards that data controllers should abide by to protect the privacy and security of such data. Data controllers are often organisations and they decide how and why your data will be processed. Employers, for example, can be data controllers.
The UK has enshrined the GDPR into law via the Data Protection Act 2018. What this means is that all UK data controllers should take steps to protect the security and privacy of the personal data they process. This includes employee personal data.
A failure to protect such data could lead to victims making employee data breach claims for both the financial and emotional impact of a breach. Not only this, but in some cases, the Information Commissioner’s Office could investigate such breaches. They could fine employers for infringements of GDPR.
You may assume that the largest threat to your data would be from a cybersecurity perspective. Hackers and cyber-attacks are common these days, and threats are evolving all the time. But it is not only cyberattacks and breaches of cybersecurity software that could cause a data breach.
If a member of staff sends your data accidentally to an unauthorised party, loses documents containing personal data, or even discloses personal information to an unauthorised party, these incidents could also be a data breach. In such cases, you could also be eligible to make employee data breach claims for psychological and financial damage.
Employees of the British Army could provide different pieces of personal information to their employer. They could do so when applying to work for the British Army and throughout their employment.
If you’re wondering how personal data could be defined for GDPR purposes, the ICO defines it as data that could identify you. This could be information that could identify you by itself, or when someone combines it with other information.
When someone collects your personal information, you are considered to be a data subject and, as such, you would have certain specific rights under GDPR. These rights include:
- Restricting the processing of your data
- Data portability
- Objecting to an organisation processing your information
- Correcting inaccurate data
- Erasing your data
- Rights pertaining to automated profiling and decision making
- Being informed about your data and its use
- Being able to access your data
The ICO website describes these rights in more detail.
If you’ve questions that aren’t answered in this guide to employee data breach claims against the British Army, why not get in touch?
Within the GDPR are 7 major principles that should be at the heart of any organisation’s data protection policy. They include:
- Minimisation of data
- Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
- Limitation of purpose
- Confidentiality of data and integrity (security)
- Limitation of storage
If you’re employed by the British Army, and their failure to adhere to these principles causes a breach of data protection by employees, or people outside of the organisation, you could suffer financial loss or psychological harm. If you do, you could make employee data breach GDPR claims for compensation.
If the British Army employs you, they may have lots of different pieces of personal information about you. This could include:
- Your address, IP address, e-mail address, full name, or ID number for example.
- Financial information – they may need your bank account details so they can pay you, for example.
- Medical data – they could have details of medical conditions and injuries, for example.
- Employment data – this could include details of sick leave, disciplinary action and pay, for example.
Special Category Data
Some information could be defined as special category information. Under GDPR this requires a higher level of protection. It could include;
- Information on your political opinions
- Details of your sex life or sexual orientation
- Information on your physical or mental health
- Genetics information
- Your ethnic origin
- Any trade union membership information
- Your religious or philosophical beliefs
Could Someone Make Employee Data Breach Claims For Breaches Of Computerised Data?
The GDPR protects computerised data but also data within documents and notebooks, for example. Any breach of your personal data, whether it relates to your data being hacked, phishing attacks, employee errors or a DDoS attack could lead to employee data breach claims.
However, you could only claim employee data breach GDPR compensation if you suffer mental or financial harm.
To answer a frequently asked question (‘what is a data breach?’), let us look to the ICO’s definition. A data breach is a data security incident that leads to the:
- Loss of personal data
- Theft of personal data
- Unauthorised or unlawful access to, or disclosure, transmission, alteration, processing, storage or destruction of personal data
- Loss of availability of personal data
The ICO is clear on the fact that data breaches could result from actions made inside an organisation in addition to outside of it. They could be malicious in nature or they could be accidental.
Do you have any questions about this guide on employee data breach claims against the British Army? Why not get in touch?
An employer could breach the GDPR in many different ways. We have created a few examples of such incidents below, but this is not an exhaustive list:
- Sending your data to an unauthorised third party by email or letter
- Falling victim to a hack, malware attack or phishing attacks
- Having a conversation with an unauthorised person about your sensitive personal information (for example, disclosing your health condition to a colleague)
Has There Ever Been A British Army Data Breach?
According to media reports, in 2008, a portable drive containing private information relating to 100,000 personnel in the British Army, Navy and RAF was lost. The portable drive belonged to a Ministry of Defence contractor.
The drive was said to contain over 1.5 million pieces of personal data, which may have included names, driving licence details, addresses and passport details. The MoD could not rule out whether bank account details were breached in the incident.
No matter whether personal data was compromised in an incident such as the above, or in another manner, you could claim GDPR data breach compensation if you’ve suffered emotionally or financially because of a data breach.
In some cases, the British Army would need your consent to share your personal information. But sharing personal information without consent may not always be a breach of your data. The ICO explains various ‘valid reasons’ that an employer could share the personal data of a data subject without their consent. They include:
Should the British Army share your information without your consent and for reasons other than the above, they may have breached your data. If you’d like some advice on whether you could make employee data breach claims, please use the Live Chat feature to chat to our team.
If there is an employee data breach, GDPR demands that the organisation report it, if it risks the rights or freedoms of data subjects. Organisations must report such breaches within 72 hours to the ICO, unless there is a valid reason for a delay in reporting. They should also tell affected data subjects about the breach without undue delay.
If a breach doesn’t pose any risk to the freedoms or rights of data subjects, the organisation isn’t obliged to report it. They should keep their own records of such breaches, however.
We have mentioned the ICO a number of times on this page. The ICO, or Information Commissioner’s Office, to give it its full name, is a public body. It was created to uphold the public’s data rights. The ICO enforces data protection legislation, including GDPR, in the UK.
If organisations do not adhere to such legislation, the ICO could launch an investigation. Depending on the findings, it could take enforcement action against organisations that fail to comply with data protection law. In the case of the GDPR, the ICO could issue fines of up to 4% of the global annual turnover of an organisation, or up to £17.5m.
Does The ICO Issue Compensation For Employee Data Breach Claims Against The British Army?
The ICO does not issue compensation to victims of a data breach. You could attempt to write to your employer and ask for compensation. Or, you could use the services of a data breach lawyer to claim GDPR data breach compensation.
In an attempt to inform organisations on how to protect employee data, the ICO has issued an Employment Practices Code. Within this document is guidance that relates to workplace monitoring, in addition to information such as health records.
The ICO stipulates that organisations must protect more than just the personal data of their current employees. They should also protect personal data relating to:
- Agency workers
- Former employees
- Unsuccessful and successful applicants
If you’ve been affected by data breaches by your employer, whether you intend to make employee data breach claims or not, you should initially report it to your employer. They should work with you to resolve your complaint. If you’re not satisfied with their response, or you do not receive one, you could then take your concerns to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The ICO advises you contact them within 3 months of the last time you communicated on the subject with your employer.
You do not have to report a data breach to the ICO to claim compensation, however. You could use the services of a data breach solicitor to make a claim against them.
Earlier in this guide, we mentioned that the GDPR allows the victim of a data breach to claim for both the non-material and the material damages they suffer as the result of a breach. The material damage you suffer could relate to identity fraud or theft, for example, and you could evidence this by using bank account statements and bills.
However, even if you don’t suffer financial loss, you could claim for a psychiatric or psychological injury caused by a data breach as Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc  set a legal precedent that could allow this. In this case, the Court of Appeal held that awards like those in personal injury cases for psychological/psychiatric injuries should be considered.
Should you suffer distress, loss of sleep, anxiety or depression due to a data breach, you’d need medical evidence if you wanted to include these injuries in your employee data breach claim. This would involve a medical assessment with an independent medical professional.
Lawyers and courts could use the resulting medical report in conjunction with a publication, the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), to work out how much compensation could be appropriate. The below table contains figures from the JCG to give you a rough idea of how much injuries like this could be worth.
|Injury||Severity||Approx Guideline Amount|
|Psychological injury cases (general)||Less severe||Up to £5,500|
|PTSD injury||Less severe||Up to £7,680|
|Psychological injury cases (general)||Moderate||£5,500 to £17,900|
|PTSD injury||Moderate||£7,680 to £21,730|
|Psychological injury cases (general)||Moderately severe||£17,900 to £51,460|
|PTSD injury||Moderately severe||£21,730 to £56,180|
|PTSD injury||Severe||£56,180 to £94,470|
|Psychological injury cases (general)||Severe||£51,460 to £108,620|
Should you have any questions about such injuries or their compensation amounts, why not reach out? Simply use the Live Chat service to get in touch.
Making employee data breach claims against the British Army could be complicated without the right legal advice. Many claimants prefer to have legal help when making claims for compensation. No Win No Fee claims could allow them to do so without paying solicitor fees upfront. Generally, the No Win No Fee process works as follows:
- You sign a No Win No Fee agreement at the start of your claim. This agrees a success fee (a small, legally capped percentage of the settlement) that would be payable once your compensation comes through.
- Your solicitor works on your case. They negotiate a settlement for you, either directly with the parties involved, or (though it’s unlikely) in court.
- Your compensation comes through. The lawyer takes out the success fee. The balance is for your benefit.
- If your lawyer doesn’t get you a payout, you don’t have to pay their fees.
Would you like to ask us anything about No Win No Fee employee data breach claims against the British Army? If so, we’d be happy to hear from you through Live Chat. If you’re looking for a No Win No Fee lawyer, why not click the Legal Expert banner below? They could help you get started with your claim.
Agency Workers – Agency workers have certain rights. Find out what they are here.
Data Breach Claims Against An Employer – We have a general guide on making claims against an employer.
No Win No Fee – Find out more about No Win No Fee.
Data Security Incident Trends – Employee data breach statistics aside, you can find out the industries that have experienced a data breach here.
Make A Complaint To The ICO – You can find out more about complaining to the ICO here.
Cyber Security Breaches 2021– This shows the results of a survey into data breaches. You may find this interesting reading.
Can I Ask To See The Data My Employer Holds About Me?
Under GDPR you have a right to make a subject access request to your employer to see what personal data they have on you.
What Are Data Protection Impact Assessments?
A data protection impact assessment is an assessment an organisation should conduct to identify the risks of any project involving protected data. It could help an organisation assess and minimise the risks to data protection. Any project that involves processing with high risks to data subjects’ data protection requires a DPIA.
Does The GDPR Cover My Data?
If you are an EU data subject then your data privacy and security rights come under GDPR. It applies to UK data subjects too through the Data Protection Act 2018.
What Happens If My Employer Breaches My Data Privacy?
If an employer breaches your data privacy, you could suffer emotionally or financially. You could claim compensation under GDPR for data breaches that cause you harm.
Thanks for reading our guide on potential employee data breach claims against the British Army.
Guide by JEF
Edited by VIC