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Aston University Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Aston University Data Breach

How To Make A Data Breach Claim Against Aston University

Universities have access to a variety of different types of personal information, such as contact details, your address, possibly any medical or mental health history, and information regarding financial transactions. A university, as with any organisation entrusted with this kind of personal information, has an obligation to keep it secure and private and to use it only for the necessary purposes which it has made clear to the subject. This guide has been created to help those who may have been impacted by an Aston University data breach.

Aston University data breach claims guide

Aston University data breach claims guide

Having personal information leaked, whether it is due to a deliberate decision by the university, by preventable cyber hacking or through simple employee error potentially puts you at risk of having personal information made public. This could result in data theft, scams such as phishing and identity fraud. It can also be highly traumatic for the victims, who may experience psychological harm—a breach of privacy is, after all, the equivalent to being burgled.

Luckily, you do have the right to make a data breach compensation claim in the event that Aston University has failed to protect your data privacy rights and you can prove this was the case. If you have been affected by a data breach involving your personal information which had been collected and processed by Aston University, you should read this guide and afterwards get in touch with our team of legal advisors if you’d like help and support.

Our legal advisors, along with our lawyers, could help you make a data breach claim against Aston University provided you have evidence of their breach and the harm caused. 

If you would like more information, just follow any one of the three following steps:

  • Call 0800 073 8804
  • Submit your contact details and a brief description of the incident on this page to receive a call back
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Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Claims For A Data Breach By Aston University
  2. What Is A Data Breach By Aston University?
  3. Does The GDPR Apply To Universities And Colleges?
  4. Examples Of How A University Could Be Affected By A Data Breach
  5. How Often Do Data Breaches Affect Universities?
  6. Attacks Against Universities By Cyber Criminals
  7. Ways In Which Data Breach Victims Could Be Compensated
  8. Compensation Calculator For Data Breach Claims Against Aston University
  9. How The Team At Legal Expert May Help You
  10. No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Aston University
  11. Talk To Our Team
  12. Related Services

A Guide To Claims For A Data Breach By Aston University

This guide aims to explain what your rights are when it comes to the protection of your data and what you can do when your data has been breached by an organisation like Aston University. This means explaining the law that regulates data protection and the bodies charged with enforcing compliance.

An important aspect of explaining how compensation claims work is explaining how your compensation may be calculated, so this guide will go into some of the effects that a data breach could have, and how these could factor into your potential compensation payout. 

Other important aspects of making a claim are finding the right lawyer, and finding out how to make a claim without taking a big financial risk. You can learn about this in the sections on how our legal team can help you and on No Win No Fee claims.

It’s important to note the time limits involved with claiming. For data breach claims, you have just 6 years. However, this is reduced to 1 year if it involves a breach of your human rights. 

If you have any questions at all about the content of this guide, do not hesitate to get in touch.

What Is A Data Breach By Aston University?

A data breach is when an organisation which has obtained, stored and processed someone’s personal information has allowed, through negligence or misconduct, that data to be accessed by other parties. 

This could happen because that organisation wrongfully engages in a policy of sharing information with other parties, or because it fails to enact cybersecurity policies sufficient to prevent cyber-attacks. Such attacks could result in hacking incidents such as the Blackbaud hack which we will go into in more detail later.

One of the organisations which monitor and regulate data protection in the UK is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This organisation can carry out investigations of suspected or reported data breach incidents and has the authority to hand out fines against organisations which fail to abide by data protection rules.

Being the victim of a data breach can cause all sorts of problems, not least of which is the feeling of stress and fear that it could inspire, particularly if very sensitive information is among that which is leaked, such as your address or your financial information.

Does The GDPR Apply To Universities And Colleges?

All organisations collecting people’s personal data are bound by the laws and regulations set out in the GDPR, an EU law which was enacted into UK law by the Data Protection Act 2018

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It is a set of principles which regulate the collection, processing, storage and use of individual personal information. The GDPR must be enforced by the governments of all countries that are members of the European Union. The British government introduced the Data Protection Act 2018 in order to bring UK law in line with the GDPR.

The principles outlined in the GDPR that organisations must comply with are as follows:

  • Transparency, lawfulness and fairness: The manner in which the data is collected must be legal, must be fair and must be transparent to the person whose data is being collected.
  • Purpose limitation: The data must be used only for the purposes that were stated to the person providing their data when they were asked for it.
  • Data Minimisation: Only the amount of information that is necessary for the stated purpose of the data collection may be collected and used.
  • Accuracy: If data is collected from a person, that data must be accurate and kept up to date if the person’s details are changed.
  • Storage limitation: The data must not be kept for any longer than necessary or agreed to, after which the organisation collecting data must destroy it.
  • Integrity and confidentiality: The data must be kept under the strictest and most comprehensive security system reasonably possible in order to ensure its safety from loss or intrusion.
  • Accountability: The party collecting the data must be able to ensure that they can demonstrate their compliance with the terms set out above.

If you believe that a university data breach concerning your personal information may have occurred because any of these conditions have not been met, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation—as long as you can prove the failings of the university and the harm you suffered. 

You may want to call our team to find out more about your rights when it comes to university data breaches.

Examples Of How A University Could Be Affected By A Data Breach

One case which serves as an example of how universities could be affected by a data breach is an instance from May 2020. Many universities across the UK were affected by a cyber-attack against their database server provider company, Blackbaud. 

The attack did not result in a breach of any student financial information, such as credit card details, bank account numbers or any passwords related to their bank accounts, but it did affect other information, such as dates of birth, names, addresses and contact information.

If you are one of the people whose personal information was affected by the Blackbaud hack, you may be entitled to make a data breach compensation claim, as long as you can prove you were affected by the breach. Please get in touch with our advice team to find out more information.

You can find out more about the Blackbaud hack below.


How Often Do Data Breaches Affect Universities?

The figures of cybersecurity and personal data protection in universities are somewhat alarming and show the importance of actively working to defend against them. 

In 2020 a Freedom of Information request was made to 86 universities regarding their history of, and policies towards, cybersecurity and personal data protection. 54% admitted that they had experienced data breaches in the past year. Nearly half of all universities admitted that they had not provided their staff with any data protection training in the last twelve months, and just 51% had provided their students with lessons on cybersecurity and personal data protection.


Attacks Against Universities By Cyber Criminals

Universities are frequent targets for attempted cyber-attacks and data theft, aimed at stealing research or students financial details. One university claimed to have detected 130 million phishing emails in one year, with another reporting that the number of cyber-attacks had increased 50% since the year before. Some experts believe that most academic institutions are not adequately prepared and protected for data breaches and cyber-attacks.

The Guardian reported that there have been alleged attempts at hacking British universities for data on their Coronavirus research.

You can read more about these allegations below.

Ways In Which Data Breach Victims Could Be Compensated

You can be compensated for the various ways in which a data breach might potentially harm you. These are grouped together under two headings – material damages and non-material damages.  

Material damages deal with the financial harm that arises following a data breach. A cybersecurity breach could leave you vulnerable to fraud or theft, particularly if information concerning your financial details are leaked to criminal parties. Identity theft can lead to money being stolen from your account or your credit card details being used to make purchases in your name. This can impact  your credit rating in the long term.

Non-material damages handle the psychological impact of a data breach. The threat of having your personal information being used to harm you as a result of a breach, such as being defrauded or subject to personal threats and harassment, can cause stress and anxiety with lasting emotional effects not dissimilar to the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The impact alone of having your trust breached by a third party and the knowledge that your personal details have been accessed by others can cause emotional distress. There is a precedent to awarding compensation for this kind of harm, even if there is no financial damage. This was set out in the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] – Court of Appeal.

Compensation Calculator For Data Breach Claims Against Aston University

In the Vidal case, it was recommended that compensation for psychological harm inflicted by a data breach should be valued in accordance with personal injury law. 

The amount of compensation you could be awarded for damage to your mental health or emotional distress will be calculated based on the severity of the distress and trauma and their effects. 

We can’t give you precise details of what you could be paid at this point, since you would have to discuss the specifics of your situation with a lawyer in order for us to do so, but we can show you our a helpful alternative to a compensation calculator.  

This table shows the value of injuries as set out in the Judicial College Guidelines, a document used by those in the legal system to value personal injury claims. The more severe the condition, the more compensation you could be entitled to claim.

Severe Post Traumatic Stress DisorderPTSD which prevents the victim from functioning normally£56,180 to £94,470
Moderately severe Post Traumatic Stress DisorderSame as above, but with good chances of recovery£21,730 to £56,180
Moderate Post Traumatic Stress DisorderA recovery from PTSD without disabling after-effects£7,680 to £21,730
Less severe Post Traumatic Stress DisorderFull recovery from PTSD within two yearsUp to £7,680
Severe psychiatric damageSevere negative effects on relationships and ability to cope with life, education and work£51,460 to £108,620
Moderately severe Pyschiatric damageThe same problems as above, but with optimistic prognosis £17,900 to £51,460
Moderate Psychiatric damageSevere psychiatric damage that has since improved£5,500 to £17,900
Less severe Psychiatric damageCases in which the victim has made a full recovery apart from minor issuesUp to £5,500

How The Team At Legal Expert May Help You

The team at Legal Expert can offer you help in a number of ways.

We can offer you advice, such as with guides like the one you are reading right now, as well as through conversations with our team of professional legal experts. 

More importantly, we can offer you the services of our lawyers. Working with a good lawyer is crucial to the outcome of your case, it could make the difference between success or failure. However, there is a lot more to it than that. We pride ourselves on quality and delivering results our clients are happy with. 

Reviews are a good way in which to get a feel for how good and experienced a lawyer is. You may want to take some time to read through online reviews if you haven’t done that already. Why not read our websites review page for some good examples of positive reviews of lawyers by clicking here?

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Aston University

In some circumstances, making a legal claim could be something of a financial risk. Some lawyers’ fees are expensive, and paying them could leave you in debt, or could worsen your financial situation, especially if you end up not winning your case and not getting any compensation. 

We think that it’s unfair that any factor besides the eligibility of your claim should affect whether or not you are able to make a compensation claim. That’s why we always make sure that those who claim with our lawyers have the option of making a No Win No Fee claim. 

A No Win No Fee claim is one in which your lawyer’s payment will be conditional on winning your case. In a No Win No Fee case, your lawyer’s payment would come out of the compensation that you would receive if the claim is successful. This fee is small and capped by law, so you won’t lose much of your compensation. It is used to cover your solicitor’s costs.

If the claim is not successful and no compensation is awarded, then you won’t have to pay anything at all.  In a No Win No Fee claim there are no upfront payments to a lawyer either. To find out more, get in touch with our team.

Talk To Our Team

The first step to making a compensation claim is to speak to a legal advisor about your case. You can do this by getting in touch with us by:

As well as using these methods to reach us to talk about making a compensation claim with one of our lawyers, you can also use these means to speak to our advisors to ask questions about anything to do with data breach claims that you don’t understand.

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Guide by Yarlett

Edited by Billing

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.