Claims against organisations for breach of data protection are becoming more common and whilst the Information Commissioner’s Office does not have the power to award compensation to an individual, even if they confirm that an organisation has broken data protection law, they could apply to county court for compensation.
Under data protection law an individual may be entitled to:
These types of claims can be become complicated not only when considering whether there has been a breach but also when a claim is presented to the court. As the claim includes a claim for distress, an injury to feelings, this has the effect of removing any fixed costs regime and so whilst the sum claimed may be minor the costs of the other party can be substantial. By way of example, an individual who is represented on a ‘no win no fee’ may be awarded £1,000 or less but this could result in a costs claim in excess of £20,000. This can be a nasty sting in the tail.
It is important that if you receive these types of claims that you seek advice as sometimes an early resolution can prevent a costly legal process.
Please contact our dispute resolution team on 01254 828300 who will be able to discuss alternative ways to resolve the claim or if you still want to pursue it through court, the merits of the claim, likely prospects of success and also the likely costs involved and whether you will be able to claim any of those back.
Alternatively, please book onto our Training session on 21 October 2021 here where we will discuss the obligations placed on businesses in respect of data protection and discuss in more detail what happens when things go wrong.