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Data Claims

Data Claims

Both public and private bodies hold and use a large amount of personal information about people. These bodies have certain legal duties when doing so that protect your right to have your data being kept private and for it to be held and dealt with appropriately.


Our data, privacy and technology department is here to fight against exploitation of your personal data by public bodies when they breach their legal duties. We can provide you with legal assistance in this sector that builds on our expertise of bringing high-profile strategic challenges against the unlawful actions undertaken by the state. For enquiries regarding the handling of your data by a private body please contact our expert team.


How can a public authority mishandle your data?

The Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act provide the rules that public authorities have to follow when handling your data. They can breach these rules by:

  • Sharing your data without your consent
  • Retaining your data longer than they are permitted to
  • Storing incorrect information about you
  • Using data beyond the purpose for which it was acquired

What is a data breach?

Data collection


A data breach is unlawful collection and retention of your data, for example where it amounts to surveillance. One example of this we have seen has been the protestors who have been targeted by surveillance technologies as a result of their activism; State bodies have started to use surveillance technologies, such as facial recognition systems and tracking by way of Global Position System technology, to collect personal data on an unprecedented scale.


Data retention and use


Data should only be stored and used for a purpose and with your consent. It may therefore be a data breach if a public body stores your data without your consent if it is used beyond the purpose it was acquired for.


Data loss


A data breach may involve the unlawful loss or destruction of data, including failure to adequately protect your data from hackers.


What is a public authority?


A public authority is a body which performs statutory duties, objectives and other activities consistent with central or local government functions. Below is a non-exhaustive list of key public authorities.


  • Police
  • Local Authorities (including county councils, district councils, London boroughs)
  • NHS Hospitals
  • The Secretary of state of a Government Department
  • Fire brigade
  • Military (Ministry of Defence and its subsidiaries such as British Army, Royal Navy, RAF Air Command)
  • Schools
  • Charities performing a public function (This could include a charity providing care on behalf of the Local Authority for example.)


What am I entitled to?

You may be entitled to compensation for the data breach. This can compensate for direct and indirect financial loss as well as stress and anxiety caused. This will vary depending on the type of data and the impact it had. Our team can help you understand what you may be entitled to.


You may also be able to challenge a public policy that governs how your data is handled. Our team have extensive experience in these systematic challenges and can lead to a change in how your data, and other people’s data, is handled.


You may also be able to challenge and change unlawful decisions made using your personal data, for example decisions undertaken by public authorities using algorithms or automated decision-making processes. This can be challenged through judicial review, in which our solicitors have years of experience and expertise.


How can I fund my Data breach case?


Under certain circumstances you may be eligible for legal aid to fund your data breach case.


We also can discuss with you the possibility of a no win no fee agreement to fund your – meaning you pay nothing if your case is unsuccessful. Instead, if successful we will recover a contribution from our legal fees from the public authority responsible at a limited amount from your compensation.


For all Data Claims related matters contact us online now.Contact Us

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