How To Sue A Post Office For A Data Breach

Post offices handle vast quantities of personal information and, if it is compromised, it could cause harm. If you were harmed due to such a data breach and have evidence of a valid claim, you might want to know how to sue a post office. 

how to sue a post office
A guide on how to sue a post office

Despite increased protection through legislation such as the Data Protection Act 2018, data breaches still occur. In this article, we will show you what steps you can take following a data breach

If your personal information was part of a personal data breach, you could contact us for a free consultation. Advice on pursuing a claim is free and without obligation for you to proceed with the services of our panel of solicitors. However, if you do have a strong and valid claim, our advisors could connect you with a solicitor from our panel.

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  1. How To Sue A Post Office For A Data Breach.
  2. What Is The Definition Of A Data Breach?
  3.  How Do Data Breaches Occur?
  4. How Much Compensation Could I Get In A Claim Against A Post Office?
  5. Where Can I Find A No Win No Fee Solicitor? 
  6. Learn More About How To Sue A Post Office

How To Sue A Post Office For A Data Breach 

Organisations that hold personal data can be susceptible to data breaches. For example, cybercrime or human error can lead to data breaches. 

Personal information or personal data is any information that can be used to identify you, whether directly or alongside other information.

To sue a post office for a data breach, you’d need valid grounds. Essentially:

  • Your personal data was involved in a data breach.
  • The data breach occurred because of an organisation’s wrongful conduct.
  • You suffered financial loss or psychological damage, or both, as a result.

For the data breach, you could report the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who may launch an investigation. However, organisations usually report a breach to the ICO themselves. The ICO is an independent body that enforces data protection legislation. 

If found to be in breach of UK General Data Protection Regulation or the Data Protection Act 2018, an organisation could see enforcement actions such as receiving a heavy fine. However, this will not culminate in you receiving compensation. For this, you may need to take separate legal action. 

What Is The Definition Of A Data Breach? 

A personal data breach occurs when a security breach leads to the loss, destruction, disclosure, alteration of or access to personal information. It can be accidental or deliberate. They are not always criminal in nature. For example, they could occur due to employee error. 

Parties involved in personal data processing fall under three main categories:

  1. Data controller. These decide how and why personal data should be collected or processed. Data controllers choose the variables such as what data is required, the individuals they target and often see commercial gain or another benefit from processing data. 
  2. Data processors follow instructions from data controllers pertaining to the processing of personal data. Unlike controllers, processors make few decisions regarding the data and its handling.
  3. Within this, you are a data subject as it is your personal data that is harvested. 

To regulate data collection and handling, there is the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. With this article, you will see how to sue for a GDPR data breach.   

How Do Data Breaches Occur?

Some examples of data breaches are: 

  • Sending a post to the wrong address is a data breach when the information provided by the recipient (i.e the address) is correct. By exposing personal data to an unknown third party, an organisation unintentionally creates a data breach.  
  • Similarly, a package left on the counter in a post office is a potential risk. If an unauthorised person saw the address on the label, it could be considered a data breach. 
  • Weak security systems leave data banks vulnerable to hackers and other cybercriminals. 
  • Documents containing personal information that are left in public, on transport or otherwise out of the control of the appropriate handler could be accessed by those without the authorisation to do so.

How Much Compensation Could I Get In A Claim Against A Post Office? 

If your personal data was involved in a breach and you were subject to financial harm or mental damage, you could be entitled to compensation. For this, you have to prove the breach and the subsequent harm it causes. 

The compensation that can be offered for psychological harm can be valued with reference to personal injury law, which is key to understanding how to sue a post office.  

The damages you suffer would influence the amount of compensation you can be awarded. Included with the initial injury is the severity and length of any lengthy implications. When using information from the Judicial College Guidelines, you can put value to these injuries.

Non-material damage refers to the violation of non-tangible assets, which in this case is psychological. If your data is involved in a breach and you suffer emotionally or mentally as a result, provided you can prove it, you could be due compensation.

In the compensation table below, we’ve taken figures from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines JCG), which was published in April 2022. The table is used for illustrative purposes only. For our advisors to value your claim for free, why not get in touch?

InjurySeverityAmount AwardedNotes
Psychiatric Damage Generally (A)Severe£54,830 to £115,730Problems with day to day functioning and little chance of improving.
Psychiatric Disorder Generally (B)Moderately Severe£19,070 to £54,830A higher chance of recovery than (a) with clinical help.
Psychiatric Disorder Generally (C)Moderate£5,860 to £19,070There may be residual issues from the incident but there will also be noted improvement by trial. Work related stress is an example of this category.
Psychiatric Disorder Generally (D)Less Severe£1,540 to £5,860Consider how long the disability lasts and how much it affects sleep and daily activities.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (A)Severe£59,860 to £100,670Effects won’t allow for functioning at a pre-trauma level.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (B)Moderately Severe£23,150 to £59,860Professional help may allow for the recovery of some functionality.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C)Moderate£8,180 to £23,150Indual mostly recovers and residual effects are not debilitating
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (D)Less Severe£3,950 to £8,180Practically full recovery within two years. Minor symptoms may persist.

Material damages, conversely, are tangible and are financial losses attributed to a data breach. If the breach caused you financial losses and you can prove it, you could make a claim. 

If you have evidence of a valid claim and have questions about how to sue a post office, contact our team of advisors for a free consultation. They can value your claim free of charge and provide advice without obligation to proceed with the services of our panel of solicitors.

Where Can I Find A No Win No Fee Solicitor? 

A No Win No Fee agreement is one where the solicitor’s success fee is given in the event of a successful claim. 

If you do not win your case, you will not have to pay for the solicitor’s service. Should you win your case, however, you will need to pay a success fee for the solicitor’s work. The fee is capped by law and is a small percentage of the compensation that is agreed upon before the claim starts. 

Should you have evidence of a valid claim, and if your personal data was compromised and you would like to make a claim, then contact our team of advisors for a free consultation. They could connect you to a solicitor from our panel.

Our advisors are available 24/7. They give free legal advice and you’ll be under no obligation to continue with the services of our panel if you get in touch.

You can get in touch with us by:

Learn More About How To Sue A Post Office

If you found this guide useful, you may want to read:

Data Security Incident Trends | ICO 

Mental Health Guide | NHS 

Offences Related To Personal Data | GOV

Though the following guides aren’t related to data breaches, they illustrate other areas that we could help you with.

How To Sue For An Injury In A Public Place 

Guide To Sue For A Personal Injury 

How To Sue The Local Council

If you have proof that you suffered due to a personal data breach and are wondering how to sue a post office, why not get in touch?

Article by WYK

Edited by VIC