The UK is in the top three countries when it comes to data breaches in Europe since the introduction of GDPR.

59,000 personal data breaches were reported across the continent since the new privacy law was launched in May 2018, with the UK host to 10,600, according to DLA Piper's GDPR Data Breach survey.

The Netherlands topped the table with 15,400 and Germany was second with 12,600. The lowest total in Europe was Liechtenstein with 15.

Ross McKean, a partner at DLA Piper specializing in cyber and data protection, said: "The GDPR completely changes the compliance risk for organisations which suffer a personal data breach due to revenue based fines and the potential for US style group litigation claims for compensation.

“As we saw in the US when mandatory breach notification laws came into force, backed up by tough sanctions for not notifying, the GDPR is driving personal data breach out into the open. 

“Our report confirms this with more than 59,000 data breaches notified across Europe in the first 8 months since the GDPR came into force."

There have currently been 91 fines reported from breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation, with the highest to date being €50 million made against Google on 21st January 2019.

This was a French decision in relation to the processing of personal data for advertising purposes without valid authorisation.

Sam Millar, a partner at DLA Piper specialising in cyber and large scale investigations, said: "The regulators have already started to flex their muscles with 91 GDPR fines imposed to date but the fine against Google is a landmark moment and is notable partly because it is not related to personal data breach.

“We anticipate that regulators will treat data breach more harshly by imposing higher fines given the more acute risk of harm to individuals. We can expect more fines to follow over the coming year as the regulators clear the backlog of notifications."