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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44903
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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A few months ago my son and myself made a complaint against

Customer Question

A few months ago my son and myself made a complaint against a member of staff in a local department store. This has now progressed to disciplinary action being taken against the staff member. Yesterday my other son was at home and received a telephone call from the father of the employee, saying that he had received copies of our statements, which included all our personal details, names, address, mobile & home phone numbers. I spoke to the area manager who informed me that this was purely a clerical error, as the member of staff sending the documents out would not have taken into account that there would be a member of the public's details in the statements. I beliEve that a breach of the Data Protection Act has taken place, and wonder if I would have a case against the company
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today.

If a party has acted in contravention of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), then anyone who has suffered damage or distress as a result can potentially make a claim.

The first step is to report the alleged contravention to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They are the regulatory body that deals with breaches of data protection regulations and can investigate and fine the infringing party. However they will not award compensation to the victim so the only way to try and get any compensation is by going through court.

If the victim has only suffered distress and no financial damages, compensation is not available unless the breach related to the “special purposes” which means processing for artistic, literary or journalistic purposes. Any other breaches will not qualify.

If there have been financial losses as a result of the breach, then the case could be taken to court. I would not recommend that this is done straight away and suggest trying to reach some kind of compromise with the violating party. However, if that is not possible and court appears to be the only recourse then this leaflet contains useful information on how take a claim for data protection breaches to court:

http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/data_protection/practical_application/taking_a_case_to_court.pdf

Ben Jones :

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

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