Victims of data breaches should have more rights to claim compensation against companies, says Which?.
Advisory company Which? has urged the UK government to put better rules in place that give better rights to those customers affected by data breaches, to allow them to claims against organisations.
The Data Protection Bill is still currently in discussion in Parliament, and Which? want the government to update the Bill so that independent organisations like themselves can fight for compensation against corporate mistakes like data breaches.
Currently, if customers are victim to a data breach companies offer initial support on the matter. Anything else regarding compensation or claims is taken through the courts, proving expensive and inconvenient.
Some customers have found confusion around the Data Protection Rules according to Which?’s report, including the person responsible for protecting customer data and also how customers can seek help and compensation if things go wrong.
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said: “Data breaches are now more commonplace and yet many people have no idea what to do or who to turn to when their personal data is compromised.
“The Government should use the Data Protection Bill to give independent bodies the power to seek collective redress on behalf of consumers when a company has failed to take sufficient action following a data breach.”
Research by Which? revealed just 8% of those sharing data online believe they have been subject to a data breach in the last year. However, three quarters are concerned information shared is at risk of being leaked.
Following its data breach Equifax eventually reported 400,000 Britons had been affected along with 143m US customers and Yahoo! that revealed all 3bn users had been hacked in the 2013 breach, are two of the biggest data breaches that have led to customers now worrying about their data in the future.
Despite the number of customers victim to data breaches, both Equifax and Yahoo! gave notice to those affected but didn’t give advice on how to claim compensation.
As a result of the survey findings, Which? now prompts change to customers’ rights and offers advice that if customer have been affected to change passwords, stay up to date with your accounts and take concerns to the IPO.