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

How To Make A Data Breach Claim Against Bath Spa University

Welcome to our guide to Bath Spa University data breach compensation claims. Many universities up and down the country store personal information about their students, staff, donors and alumni in one way or another. It’s more likely that databases and online systems are used these days but there’s no doubt that paper-based files still exist in some cases. During this article, we’re going to look at when you could make a Bath Spa University data breach claim if that information is leaked, exposed or ends up in the wrong hands. That said, the details we’ll provide could also apply to other universities as well.

Bath Spa University data breach claims guide

Bath Spa University data breach claims guide

You may have heard of the General Data Protection Regulation or the GDPR which was introduced into UK law after The Data Protection Act 2018 was enacted. The rules that have resulted from these laws mean that any organisation holding personalised information, like universities, must do all they can to keep it safe. If they don’t and data is lost, stolen or accessed by unauthorised parties, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) could issue a large financial penalty. In addition, you could go on to make a data breach claim to seek compensation if you can prove that you’ve suffered harm.

To support you, Legal Expert provides free legal advice and a telephone assessment, without obligation, for anybody considering claiming. If the case appears strong enough, you may be connected with one of our data breach solicitors. Should your claim be taken on, it will be funded by a No Win No Fee agreement to help reduce your financial risk.

Please call an advisor today on 0800 073 8804 if you are ready to begin. Otherwise, please carry on reading to find out more about seeking data breach compensation.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against Bath Spa University

Even though you might not be explicitly aware of it, you are involved in GDPR interactions more and more these days. When you join a gym, make a purchase, use a website, attend a hospital or a university, you are usually asked to tick a box or click a button to confirm that you’re happy for your personal information to be stored or used. Even a simple check to confirm your address hasn’t changed might be made to help an organisation meet its data protection duties.

After you have told a company or organisation about how you want your personal information to be used, it’s important they adhere to your choices. Additionally, they have to implement systems and procedures to prevent information about you from being exposed to unwanted parties like cybercriminals. Failure to meet their data protection obligations could mean you are able to lodge a formal compensation claim if you can prove the harm caused by the data breach.

If you do want to claim for a Bath Spa University data breach, you will need to claim within the relevant limitation period. In most cases, data breach claims have a 6-year time limit. Be aware though that if the claim centres around a human rights breach, you will only have 1-year to claim.

Whatever time limit applies, our data breach solicitors usually advise that you begin as soon as you can because it can make it easier for them to obtain the evidence to back up your claim. Additionally, you may find it easier to recall the impact of the data breach in the months after you found out about it.

To begin a university data protection claim today, please get in touch and let one of our specialists assess your case for free.

What Is A Data Breach Claim Against Bath Spa University?

When we discuss stolen information or data breaches these days, we’ll often jump to the conclusion that it was caused by a cyberattack, a computer virus, malware or ransomware. In this modern world, that can often be the case, but the GDPR also considers breaches involving physical documents as well.

The GDPR legislation defines a personal data breach as having happened after a security problem leads to information that can be used to identify somebody directly or indirectly being lost, altered, destroyed, disclosed or accessed in ways that the person has not agreed to.

The ICO can issue fines to those responsible for the data breach whether it was accidental, deliberate or illegal. In some cases, companies try to deal with cyberattacks by paying a ransom to get their data back or to have it destroyed.

One such case involving software provided by a company called Blackbaud ended in that way. Some of their backup data containing personal information relating to several UK universities was stolen during a hack which we will look at later on.

If you suspect your personal information has been accessed following a data breach, and it’s caused you to suffer in any way, please let us know so that we can review your case with you.

How The GDPR Protects Students And Employees

The GDPR rules mean that any individual or organisation that holds personal information is assigned a role. Those roles include:

  • Data Controllers: The company, charity or organisation that define how personal information will be processed and why it needs to be done.
  • Data Processors: An organisation contracted to act on behalf of the data controller to process data.

Additionally, the data subject is the person who will have their information collected during data processing.

To make sure things are done right, the data controller has to be able to demonstrate that they comply with the following GDPR principles:

  • When processing any personal information, the data subject needs to be told why.
  • Every data processing interaction should be legal. It also needs to obvious to the data subject and fair.
  • Only a base level of personal information should be acquired when processing.
  • If personal data needs to be stored, it needs to remain up to date.
  • Security and confidentiality must be maintained when processing data.
  • Any information which is requested and stored can only be retained for as long as is necessary.

The type of data that might be used to identify somebody includes their name, address, telephone number, location information, gender details, disability details, ID number or email address. If you believe that any type of information that could be used to identify you has been leaked, why not ask one of our advisors for a free assessment?

Examples Of Types Of Data Protection Breaches By Universities

In this part of the guide, we’re going to show that data breaches involving personal information stored by, or for, universities can happen.

In this case study, which we mentioned earlier, Blackbaud, who provide a software solution that allows universities (and other organisations) to maintain contact with students, alumni and supporters, suffered a significant hack in May 2020.

After the Blackbaud hack, the company became aware that their servers had been accessed illegally and that the attackers had accessed their back up data.

Initially, this data was thought to have included just personal information such as names and addresses, but later on, the company admitted that some payment information and passwords may also have been hacked.

The company took the unadvised route of paying a ransom to the cybercriminals so that they would delete the stolen data.

Bath Spa University has confirmed that it is one of the universities affected by the hack and has informed the ICO as well as performing its own investigations.

Sources:

  • https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/alumni/keeping-in-touch/
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53528329
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54370568

If you suspect that the Blackbaud data breach has caused you harm, please discuss how with a member of our team today.

How Common Are Breaches Of Your Data Privacy By A University?

While you might regard university data breaches as being uncommon, one study has reported that:

  • 54% of UK universities have been affected by a data breach and reported it to the ICO in the last year.
  • The average budget for staff data safety awareness training is just £7,529 per year for each university.
  • 51% of universities provide proactive training to students.

As well as holding personal information about their staff, students and sponsors, universities often hold sensitive data that is used during research projects. The report suggested that universities often hold sensitive data relating to research projects which means the budget for training can be too low.

Source: https://www.redscan.com/media/The-state-of-cyber-security-across-UK-universities-Redscan-report.pdf

Stolen Information And Criminal Cyber Attacks

Due to the amount of personal information held by universities, it seems obvious that steps need to be taken, in some cases, to help reduce the risks of data breaches. Those steps could be:

  • Checking compliance with data breach laws by an external service provider.
  • Keeping software, firmware and hardware up to date.
  • Using encrypted laptops, tablets and memory sticks so that the data they contain is useless if they fall into the wrong hands.
  • Ensuring that data protection policies are regularly reviewed and updated.
  • Using penetration testing firms as a way of identifying security flaws.

Penetration testing is undertaken by experts who analyse all aspects of an organisation to see how they could be attacked. Not only do they look at network security issues, but they also try to emulate a criminal by walking onto a university campus to see if they can gain access to secured areas such as server rooms.

What Could I Be Compensated For If My Data Privacy Is Breached?

There are two distinct elements that could be claimed for when seeking compensation for a Bath Spa University data breach: material and non-material damages. Material damages could be requested when a data breach has caused a financial impact. Non-material damages might be included in your claim to cover any psychological suffering caused by a data breach.

As every claim is different, solicitors have to assess each claim independently. This involves working out what harm has already been caused and what could happen in the future. That is important because after you’ve agreed to settle your claim in full, you are not able to go back and seek further compensation later on.

Therefore, claims relating to financial losses will list the exact amount of money you’ve lost already. In addition, your data breach solicitor might also look at losses that could come in the future. For instance, if your personal details have been sold on the dark web, they could continue to be used fraudulently.

In a similar way, while you could claim for anxiety, stress or depression that you’ve already suffered, if the problem is ongoing, independent medical specialists will be used to work out how long you might continue to suffer and what impact they might have on your ability to work or cope with life.

All in all, we hope this section has shown how important it is to get your data breach claim right. It is the reason we always suggest that you let a specialist data breach solicitor handle your case. Our team of solicitors can go through your case with a fine-tooth comb to try and make sure that nothing is left out. Please get in touch if you would like to begin a data breach claim today.

Compensation Calculator For Data Breach Claims Against Bath Spa University

At this point in our guide, we’re going to look at the potential amounts of compensation that might be awarded for a university data breach. In 2015, the Court of Appeal decided in the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], that no longer was it required to prove financial losses stemming from a data breach if psychological harm had been suffered too. Compensation could be sought for the likes of anxiety and depression alone. Moreover, they decided that when compensation was awarded for such psychological harm, it should be valued with reference to personal injury claims.

That’s why, rather than using a data breach compensation calculator, we’ve supplied the table below which contains compensation amounts listed in the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a document used by lawyers to help determine levels of compensation.

Claim TypeSeverity LevelAward RangeDetails
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyLess SevereUp to £5,500Minor symptoms that resolve in full in a short space of time.
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460The victim will suffer significant problems associated with coping with life or work and their relationships will be affected too. Their overall prognosis will be more optimistic than severe cases.
Psychiatric Damage GenerallySevere£51,460 to £108,620The victim will have serious problems relating to work, life and education. There will also have been a large impact on their relationships, treatment is not likely to help and they will be vulnerable in the future. All these factors will lead to a very poor prognosis.
PTSD
Moderately Severe£21,730 to £56,180The PTSD symptoms will cause a significant level of problems for the foreseeable future but, with professional help, the victim could see some improvements meaning a better prognosis is offered.
PTSDSevere£56,180 to £94,470In the most severe cases where the effects of PTSD are permanent, there will be no chance of the victim functioning at the levels they did before the trauma and they won't be able to work.

To try and ensure the correct amount of compensation is awarded, data breach solicitors need to provide medical evidence that backs up your claim. That’s the reason why during your claim, you will be asked to attend a local medical assessment. An independent specialist will refer to your medical records and ask any questions they need to regarding the impact on your health that has been caused by the data breach.

Once they have concluded the appointment, they will arrange for their findings to be detailed in a report and sent to your solicitor, who’ll use it to prove your claim.

How To Choose A Solicitor Or Lawyer For Your Case

The first thing you might want to do when you’ve concluded that you wish to start a Bath Spa University data breach claim is to choose which solicitor you will work with. For some, that process involves reading pages of online reviews, asking friends or family for a recommendation or trawling the high street for a local law firm.

As you might imagine that process could take a long time. You could make things easier for yourself though – by making one easy call to Legal Expert. Before you agree to work with us, you are able to ask our advisors as many questions as you want and let them assess your claim for free. They could connect you with a data breach solicitor from our team if the claim is strong enough who will be on hand to explain any legal jargon and answer any questions which crop up throughout your case.

Our data breach solicitors make as much effort as possible to secure the correct amount of compensation for any claim they take on. Please call today if you would like more details about how we could help you.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Bath Spa University

Some people decide not to make a compensation claim because they are too worried about how much money they could lose if the claim fails. Well, to remove a lot of the financial risk and to alleviate your worry, our team of data breach solicitors use a No Win No Fee solution to fund any claim they take on. That means you could get access to the justice you need without all of the stress.

In a fairly straightforward process, a solicitor will review your case with you before agreeing to take it on. If they are of the opinion that your claim is strong enough, they’ll create a Conditional Fee Agreement (or CFA) for you. The CFA acts as a contract between both parties and sets out the claims process that will be followed. It also explains that:

  • We won’t charge you anything upfront so the claim can begin almost immediately.
  • There are no solicitor’s fees requested while the claim is ongoing.
  • Your solicitor will not charge their fees to you if the claim is lost.

If there is a positive outcome to your claim and your solicitor wins compensation for you, they will keep a percentage to cover the cost of their work. The percentage they’ll keep is called a success fee which is listed in the CFA so you will understand how much you will pay from the start. To help put your mind at ease, we should let you know that, by law, success fees are capped.

To find out if you are likely to be able to use our No Win No Fee service, why not discuss your data breach claim with an advisor today?

Discuss Your Case With Us

We appreciate the time you’ve taken to read this guide about claiming for a Bath Spa University data breach. If you have decided to proceed with a claim, and you would like Legal Expert to support you, here are our contact details:

  • Call 0800 073 8804 for a no-obligation telephone assessment of your case.
  • Email info@legalexpert.co.uk with details of what has happened.
  • Ask an advisor for free claims advice using our live chat option.
  • Start your claim via this online form to ask us to contact you when it is convenient.

If you are not sure whether you are eligible to start a claim, don’t give up yet. Instead please contact our team and let them review your options with you.

Related Services

We have now completed this article regarding Bath Spa University data breach claims. All that remains for us to do is provide you with some links to more of our guides which may help you with different types of compensation claims in the future and some useful external resources too.

Identity Theft Information – A list of signs to watch out for that could mean you’ve been the victim of identity theft.

Bath Spa Privacy Notice – Detailed information about how the university will use your personal information.

Anxiety Symptoms – This guide has been created by NHS Scotland and explains the symptoms and treatments available for anxiety.

Workplace Fall Claims – Advice on claiming for injuries caused by a slip, trip, or fall in the workplace.

NHS Claim Time Limits – This article explains the different time limits associated with claims against the NHS.

Uninsured Driver Claims – Did you know you could be compensated for injuries caused by an uninsured driver? This guide tells you how.

 

Thank you for reading our guide to Bath Spa University data breach claims.

 

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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