Court of Appeal gives green light to Data Protection Act claims for distress even where there is no actual financial loss

For the first time, the Court of Appeal, in a recent landmark judgment in Vidal-Hall v Google Inc. (2015 EWCACIV311) has allowed a claim for compensation for distress and anxiety caused by the loss of personal data.  Up until this decision claims for distress and anxiety had to be accompanied by proof of financial loss.  Proving a financial loss was often impossible.

 

Whilst it is noted that damages in such cases are likely to be modest (perhaps in the region of £600 to £2,250) the effect of the decision is likely to be far reaching.  So far Claimants have undoubtedly held back from claiming compensation under the Data Protection Act because they hadn’t suffered any actual financial loss.  This decision potentially opens the flood gates for claims where the Data Protection Act has been breached and where the only claim is one for distress and anxiety.

 

For further information please contact Jim Wyatt or Michael Coulman.