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