Claims companies and law firms looking for the next bonanza in payouts are targeting people who have been the victim of a data breach, with some telling those affected they could be entitled to thousands of pounds in compensation.
A Google search for the term “data breach claim” results in a long list of firms – the vast majority of them no-win, no-fee solicitors – and there are more moving into this space all the time. Meanwhile, adverts for firms are increasingly appearing in Instagram feeds.
The proliferation of companies operating in this area has prompted speculation that this could be the industry’s next “golden goose” after the payment protection insurance scandal, and could lead to a new deluge of spam text messages and unwanted cold calls.
What is fuelling this growing market is the fact that the UK’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), can’t award compensation to people if they have been affected by a data breach, even when the law has been broken.
As an individual, your options include pursuing the company yourself – either by appealing to it for compensation or taking it to the small claims court – or turning to one of these firms, which could launch a group action if there are enough people with a claim against the same company.
One advantage of using one of these firms is that, assuming they take you on, they will typically do a lot of the legwork for you. Also, because most are no-win, no-fee, you often won’t…