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Which? calls for collective redress following data breaches

The Government should use the Data Protection Bill to give independent bodies the power to seek collective redress

Today Which? is calling for a change in the law to ensure consumers do not lose out when their data is compromised.

New research from Which?* has found that almost one in 10 people who have shared their details online believe they have been subject to a data breach in the past year, with three quarters concerned that the information they have shared could be at risk of a leak.

The research also found general confusion around current data protection rules, including who is responsible for protecting consumers’ data and how consumers can seek redress if things do go wrong.

As many as one in five people told us that they don’t know how to claim redress following a data breach, with a fifth saying they don’t know who is responsible for helping them when data is lost.

People have the right to redress when there is a data breach. But, if the company at fault has acted negligently and doesn’t offer adequate support or redress, currently the only option available to consumers is a lengthy and potentially expensive route via the courts.

The Data Protection Bill

Which? is now calling for the Data Protection Bill, which is currently being debated in Parliament, to be amended so that independent organisations acting in the public interest can help groups of affected consumers to get collective redress.

The call is widely supported by the public, with three quarters of those surveyed saying they would welcome an independent body helping to get redress on a collective basis.

We need evidence if we’re going to achieve this. Have you suffered a breach where your information was lost? Please share your story.

Collective redress

Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services Alex Neill, 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.’

Have you been affected by a data breach?

If you are affected by a data breach, make sure you:

  • Change any related passwords
  • Keep an eye on your bank accounts and report any unusual activity to your bank
  • Claim compensation by complaining to the company that lost your data
  • You can also take your concerns with how the organisation processed your data to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

For more information see our guide for how to claim compensation following a data breach.

*An external agency on behalf of Which? surveyed 2,093 people in the UK between 9 and 10 October 2017.

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