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Compensation Claims Under the Data Protection Act 1998?

Section 13 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) affords compensation to individuals who suffer damages as a result of breaches to the DPA, by organisations that hold personal data. Individuals can also ask for compensation for distress suffered, which causes damage.

However, organisations have a defence to the ‘right to compensation’ if they can show that they have taken the necessary care in all circumstances reasonably required, to comply with the requirement, alleged to have been breached.

Although s13 can be seen as a protective measure for individuals, this legal instrument is not without its challenges. For instance, individuals may find it difficult to show that breaches to the DPA have resulted in financial harm, unless of course they can show among other things that they have been a victim of fraud or (credit card) theft. Therefore, courts frequently award namely nominal damages under the DPA, although this is a fast-developing area of the law.

For further information, please contact Dominic Green on 020 7227 7411 or

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