When people provide information in confidence, we all expect the information given to remain private and not to be disclosed to others.

Sadly, in recent months there have been many reports in media sources where Local Authorities, NHS Trusts, Banks and Building Societies and Employers alike have breached the rights of confidence of individuals by disclosing information to others who had no right to receive it.

Often these accidental breaches are easily performed yet invariable very hard to put right once the information is in the public domain or with the incorrect recipient.

I act for far too many innocent clients where their medical history, personnel files, personal financial information/ salary have been wrongly disclosed and as a result have caused considerable distress and worry and in some situations reputational harm or financial loss.

In instances where this has occurred, our team of specialist solicitors are on hand to pursue an action for breach of confidence in claiming for compensation.  In assessing a claim you will have to prove the following:

  • The information was obtained in a manner which gives rise to a duty of confidence, i.e information given to your doctor during a consultation appointment.

  • The information has the necessary quality of confidentiality

  • The information has been used in an unauthorised way.

  • The individual must have suffered a detriment from its unauthorised disclosure

  • The individual whose confidence has been breached is seeking to claim within a period of six years from the date of the breach.

It is prudent to note that in some circumstances, a breach of someone’s confidentiality can be justified and ceases where it can be argued that –

  • The information is already in the public domain

  • The information is not deemed to be confidential in nature.

  • If there is a public interest in disclosing the information.

Compensation does vary but usually ranges between £1,000 and £3,000.

The incidents of deliberate and accidental disclosures of private/ confidential information are significantly on the rise and in a technological world, where information can be disclosed at the press of a button, statistics show that there is no let up in reported cases which often result in individuals feeling violated, exposed, upset and/or embarrassed.

Here at Farleys Solicitors we have an experienced and dedicated team of solicitors to deal with breach of confidentiality claims and we are on hand to advise you on the merits of any potential claim.

If you or someone you know has experienced a breach of confidentiality then I would welcome your enquiry either directly via telephone on 01282 718000, via our dedicated abuse line on 0330 134 6430 or by email to paul.corrigan@farleys.com