At Keller Lenkner UK, we help our clients make data breach compensation claims. In some cases, these privacy violations are massive news stories following hacks against the likes of Ticketmaster, Equifax, and British Airways.
Although we believe that these organisations must be held to account for their failure to protect our personal information, all too often, people who make a data breach claim are accused of “trying to get something for nothing”.
So let’s set the record straight.
The impact of cybercrime can be devastating
Cybercrime can result in both financial and/or identity theft – the result of which can be devastating. Cybercriminals can use your financial details to apply for credit, set up illegal bank accounts, and get access to your existing accounts.
Following the Ticketmaster data breach, over 60% of our clients suffered multiple fraudulent transactions on their payment cards, and many found getting their money back to be difficult and stressful.
Claiming for distress isn’t an overreaction
Even if you have not lost out financially after a data breach, this does not mean that there is “no harm done.” Victims of data breaches caused by cybercrime have effectively been robbed, and experiencing crime can significantly impact you mentally and physically. If a criminal came into your home, you would be distressed, so why should you feel any less upset at having your online data taken?
Following the Ticketmaster data breach, over 30% of all our clients involved in this case suffered from distress and/or psychological trauma due to having their card details stolen and used in fraudulent activity.
Thankfully, over the last few years, people are waking up to the reality of mental health, and there is a greater awareness about the lasting effects of physiological suffering and anguish. Crucially, the law agrees and recognises the amount of damage caused by having your personal and private information stolen.
Holding organisations to account could be the only way to ensure they take your security seriously
The sheer scale of the information we share with organisations is enough to leave us all open to the threat of fraud, anxiety and stress. So it is no surprise that we are worried about what could happen if this data gets into the wrong hands. Something must be done to make companies accountable for any harm done.
Cybercriminals are becoming more and more sophisticated. But this does not let these organisations off the hook if they experience a data breach. If they have done everything in their power to protect your data and have robust security processes and procedures in place, it is unlikely that a claim would be successful. This is why we usually wait for the results of an investigation by the ICO before starting a claim.
The reality is that, in most cases, data breaches happen because of a failure to implement reasonable and robust processes. So claiming compensation isn’t just in your best interests, the only way these organisations will be persuaded to take their responsibilities seriously and make the necessary improvements is by hurting their bottom line.