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Data Privacy: UK Government confirms no changes to group claims regime

  • United Kingdom
  • Financial services disputes and investigations
  • Litigation and dispute management
  • Privacy, data protection and cybersecurity


In August 2020 we reported on the launch of a UK Government consultation on whether to allow non-profit organisations to bring representative claims, including seeking compensation, on behalf of individuals affected by a personal data breach. The UK Government has now published a response to that consultation, confirming that it has decided not to implement any changes.


Under the GDPR, EU Member States are granted the flexibility to allow representative actions by non-profits. The UK Data Protection Act, which has been retained following the end of the Brexit transition period, only allows claims to be brought with the authorisation of affected individuals and does not allow multiple claims to be combined into a group action.

The Consultation reviewed the existing arrangements, in particular, whether the legislation should be changed to allow non-profit organisations to represent affected individuals without their authorisation by way of group claims.


The UK Government has decided to maintain the current regime. The response notes that the existing mechanisms offer strong protections for individuals and routes for redress; and that there is insufficient evidence that any benefits to individuals (in allowing non-profit organisations to bring representative claims without their authorisation) would outweigh the potential impacts on businesses, the Information Commissioner’s Office and the courts.

What’s next in 2021?

Businesses should be aware of the forthcoming Supreme Court hearing in Lloyd v Google, concerning “opt-out” representative actions and whether damages could be awarded for loss of control of data alone. Dependant on the outcome, this case also has the potential to open the floodgates to group data breach claims.

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