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How Much Compensation for a Data Breach?

3 minute read
Seeking qualified, independent legal counsel from reputable, authorised data breach experts is the first step in making a claim for compensation if you believe your data protection rights have been violated.
By, Jonathan Mack

As of May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation applies to all members of the European Union (GDPR). It lays out guidelines for both the free flow of personal data and rules that relate to the protection of a person regarding personal data processing. 

The fundamental liberties and rights of natural persons—in particular, their right to privacy—are also protected by the GDPR. The free flow of personal data shall not be hindered or prevented for reasons related to the protection of natural persons with regard to personal data processing.

We take a quick look at the compensation you can expect if you’ve suffered damage as a result of a personal data breach, how much you could get, and what factors determine it. 

Data breaches you can claim compensation for

You have the right to seek data protection breach compensation from an organisation according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy data protection law if you suffered as a result of the company violating the law involving your personal data. 

This holds true for both "non-material damage" and "material damage," such as if you have lost money as a result (e.g. if you have experienced distress or anxiety as a result). 

If a breach of your personal information has caused you a lot of distress, you might be eligible to request greater compensation.

How much compensation can you get?

The sort of breach that occurred, the information's high-risk status, and whether you had any hardship, as a result, will all affect how much compensation you might be entitled to from a data breach claim.

The average compensation claim amount awarded for a GDPR data breach is between £1,000 and £42,000. However, you may be able to claim more if the specific data breach has caused you distress.

You can be eligible for more money in compensation if you can convincingly demonstrate that the breach of your personal data caused you to suffer physically or mentally (for example, by developing depression). However, it can be challenging to predict how much compensation you could get by simply analysing prior cases. This is due to all the elements involved in a data breach compensation claim. 

In addition, the court may not grant you any financial compensation and may also require you to cover the other party's costs if you do not show that you have experienced harm or distress.

Examples of compensation

While the amount of compensation for data breach distress varies greatly depending on the type of information compromised, how it affected you, and the information's high-risk status, there are some general guidelines for how much compensation particular data breaches typically result in.

Here are some examples of compensation amounts for GDPR data breaches:

  • £1,000 – £1,500 for data breaches containing basic personal data
  • £2,000 – £5,000 for data breaches containing your medical records
  • £3,000 – £7,000 for data breaches containing your financial information
  • £25,700 – £42,000 for data breaches that caused physical or mental illness

Compensation claims for previous personal data breaches have increased over the last few years. 

Initial breaches have typically been paid out around £2,500 in compensation, however, companies have started to collect more information and private data so more cases are going to court. 


According to the GDPR, you can claim compensation for a data breach if you believe you’ve been a victim. However, you must first attempt to reach an agreement amicably with the company. 

This is why it’s important to understand what a data breach is, how you’ve been affected, and what the correct steps are to follow. But you should act fast as there are some time limits in place. 

Talk to our professional team if you’re concerned about a data breach or need to ensure that your company protects its customers’ sensitive data effectively.



  1. GDPR.EU. What is GDPR? Accessed September 26 2022.

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