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When an individual or organisation discloses, destroys, alters, loses, or accesses, personal information in an unauthorised way, it may give rise to a personal data breach claim. Whether the disclosure was accidental or intentional, if it was unauthorised, under General Data Protection Regulation Law you have the right claim for loss and distress caused by the breach. 

Common personal data breaches include: 

  • Medical and health documents
  •     Social services documents
  •     Financial information 
  •     Confidential information, which is forbidden to be disclosed, for example to a particular individual or organisation. 

Claimants must be aware however, that the data in question must be of a sensitive and personal nature. The information unlawfully disclosed must be confidential and not already known to the recipient. For example, the accidental disclosure of medical records to the wrong individual will give rise to a personal data breach. On the other hand, the deliberate disclosure of medical information by a doctor to the parent of an 18-year-old, can also give rise to a claim for a personal data breach. 

Personal data breaches are more prevalent today than it may appear. Only recently in December 2022, Okehampton College in Devon conducted investigations after claims arose regarding the disclosure of personal and private information about teachers, including addresses and health information, to students. It is important to know what to do in the event of a personal data breach. 

Claimants have the right to claim for any loss or distress suffered as a result of an organisation or individual breaking the data protection laws. Personal data breaches may cause psychological distress for individuals such as depression and anxiety, especially when data is disclosed to a person who should not have accessed it. Claimants can claim compensation for the distress itself, as well as any medical treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. 

It is important to know what to do if you, or someone you know has suffered a personal data breach. At Ramsdens Solicitors our experienced Personal Injury solicitors understand the distress and upset personal data breaches can cause. If you or someone you know has been affected by a data breach, we can help you claim for the suffering and bring those who caused this to justice. Please contact our Personal Injury and Abuse team by sending us an email to or calling us on 01484 821 500.