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Birmingham Council Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Birmingham Council Data Breach

My Private Data Was Shared By Birmingham City Council, Could I Claim?

A Birmingham City Council data breach may be valid if you can prove that your privacy and personal data was intentionally, criminally, or accidentally leaked, causing you to suffer damage to your mental health or finances.

Birmingham City Council is one of the many local authorities in the UK that collect personal information from tenants and employees. That said, the authority has a legal obligation to everyone whose data it collects. When the authority is in breach of the law, anyone whose information is compromised may have grounds to claim data breach compensation.

Birmingham Council data breach claims guide

Birmingham Council data breach claims guide

If you can prove that your information was leaked in a Birmingham City Council data breach, Legal Expert can help get you the compensation you could be entitled to. We provide free legal advice and will let you know if you have good cause to seek data breach compensation. Moreover, the initial consultation is free of charge and you are under no obligation to continue if you decide not to.

Should you decide to go forward with your claim, an experienced data breach solicitor will handle your case on a No Win No Fee basis. In short, you will not have to worry about paying upfront for the solicitor to act on your behalf.

To find out more about making a Birmingham City Council data breach claim, please click on the sections that follow. If you have any questions and want to speak to one of our expert advisers, please contact us by:

  • Calling 0800 073 8804 to benefit from a free consultation
  • Filling out our compensation claims form by clicking here

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A Guide To Birmingham City Council Data Breach Claims

Like all council authorities in the UK, Birmingham City Council must follow the law when collecting the personal data of employees and tenants. The authority must abide by the seven key principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). These laws were set in place to protect an individual’s (known as data subjects) privacy and personal information.

Birmingham City Council is a data controller and therefore should ensure that::

  • Firstly, make sure the personal data they collect is kept secure. As such, a data controller must do their best to ensure data breaches do not happen
  • Secondly, set in place robust online and offline security protocols

To learn more about the principles of data security, please visit the Information Commissioner’s (ICO) website.

Birmingham City Council Data Breach Examples

Recently, a  Birmingham City Council data breach reportedly exposed the sensitive details of vulnerable children.

The council issued staff within the authority a notification that a serious breach had occurred in March 2021 when sensitive data was uploaded to a facility by which taxpayers can book services. At the time of writing the ICO had been informed, but no findings have been released in relation to any investigations conducted.

Source: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/details-vulnerable-kids-uploaded-birmingham-20217314

The Time Limit For Making A Data Breach Claim?

It is worth noting the time limit for filing a data breach claim against Birmingham City Council must be respected. The deadline is 6 years if the data breach concerns a privately-owned company. However, for claims against a public body such as a council, the deadline is only 1 year. And you need to be aware of your timeframe, otherwise you could lose compensation by not claiming quickly enough.

To find out if you have a valid reason to make a Birmingham City Council data breach claim, and whether Legal Expert can represent you on a No Win No Fee basis, please get in touch today.

Statistics And Cyber Security Trends

A survey carried out by the Government on cybersecurity breaches in 2021 found:

  • 39% of UK businesses, which represents 4 in 10, and 26% of charities reported breaches in cybersecurity or attacks in the past 12 months with medium and larger sized businesses together with high-income charities being the most targeted
  • Of those that suffered a breach, one in five ended up losing money, data or other assets.
  • A third of businesses and four in ten charities stated that breaches caused wide-reaching disruption to their operations, such as diverting staff time.

During 2021, fewer businesses in the UK are identifying attacks or breaches than in the previous year. However, the problem remains unchanged where charities are concerned. The downtick in cyber-attacks is thought to be due to the pandemic because businesses were not operating to their usual level.

To learn more about the Government’s Cyber Security Survey, please click here.

What Is A Birmingham City Council Data Protection Breach Claim?

A data breach can happen when an organisation has a breach in security which leads to personal information being unlawfully exposed. There are various reasons why a council data breach might happen as explained below:

  • An intentional breach in security
  • Data is leaked/breached accidentally
  • A cybersecurity breach by hackers or cybercriminals

The issues that could arise when there is a Birmingham City Council data breach could include:

  • Data is lost or destroyed
  • Personal data is altered
  • Sensitive data is exposed
  • Unauthorised access to personal data

When a data breach occurs whether through a cyber-attack or because personal data is not locked in cabinets, the effects on victims can be far-reaching. An example is when a tenant’s personal information and home address is leaked following a complaint they may have made about a neighbour. This could leave the victim vulnerable. A breach of sensitive data which includes bank details could lead to financial losses as well as the development of mental health conditions such as stress and anxiety.

Birmingham City Council has an obligation to all the individuals whose data they hold. This applies to tenants, employees, and other data subjects. When a data breach happens, the authority could be responsible if they failed to take the necessary steps to secure physical and digital data.

To speak to a member of our team and to benefit from a free, no-obligation consultation, please call today.

Are City Councils Exempt From GDPR Rules?

All organisations in the UK must follow data protection law. This includes local councils because they are classed as ‘data controllers’. When a data controller collects, stores, and processes an individual’s personal information, they must:

  • Firstly, ask the data subject’s permission to collect their personal information. However, there are circumstances in which consent is not required, such as if the city council needs to share your salary details with HMRC.
  • Secondly, the authority must tell you, the data subject, why they need to collect your personal information. A data controller must not use your data for any other purpose than that for which it is intended
  • Thirdly, a council must abide by data protection laws and rules as set out in the DPA 2018 and the GDPR
  • Lastly, the authority must make sure that all the personal data is accurate and current

For more free advice on data protection laws that govern how a council can collect, process, and store your data, please call a member of our team today.

Types Of Data Breaches By Local Authorities?

Data breaches can happen for many reasons. A local authority data breach could be caused because:

  • There is a breach in cyber-security due to hackers gaining access to a system
  • Devices that contain personal data are lost or stolen
  • An email containing personal information is sent to the wrong people in error
  • An employee gains access to personal files without consent
  • Sensitive information is leaked by the council. An example being information about a child being sent to the wrong recipient which can put them in danger
  • Social services share information without permission with other parties
  • The council’s cybersecurity has many vulnerabilities. In short, their online security is inadequate which means cyber-criminals can easily access a system
  • Personal data is accidentally shared or leaked by council employees

To speak to a member of our team about the justifications behind making a Birmingham City data breach claim, please call Legal Expert today.

Council Tenant And Rent Statement Data Breaches

Birmingham City Council rents out housing to tenants which include social housing. As such, the council is a ‘social landlord’ that offers lower-cost housing to more vulnerable tenants. An example is the elderly. When social housing data breaches happen, a tenant’s personal information can be unlawfully leaked or accessed.

The sort of personal data that could be breached includes:

  • Names, addresses, and contact details
  • Tenancy agreements
  • Personal information which includes passport number or driving licence details
  • Sensitive information which includes bank and credit card details
  • Personal characteristics which include gender, date of birth or religious beliefs

When you are affected by a Birmingham City Council data breach, the results can be far-reaching. You may suffer financially, or you could be affected in other ways. If you have evidence that the council was at fault, Legal Expert can help you secure the level of compensation you deserve. To benefit from a free consultation, please call a member of the Legal Expert team today.

How Do I Make A Complaint To The ICO?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the body that oversees data protection laws in the UK. Not only does the ICO issue fines to organisations who flout the regulations, but the authority also provides essential data protection advice.

If you feel that Birmingham City Council failed in their obligation to protect your personal data, you can lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner. That said, if you are keen to make a data breach claim against the council, you are not obliged to contact the ICO first. However, you should follow this procedure prior to filing a claim:

  • Firstly, contact Birmingham City Council and raise a complaint. The council could take steps to resolve the issue
  • Secondly, get in touch with the ICO if after 3 months you still have not received a meaningful response from the council. It is important not to wait too long because the ICO may not investigate your concerns if too much time has passed

If you are unsure if your Birmingham City Council data breach claim is valid, please get in touch today. A member of the Legal Expert team will provide free legal advice while they review your case.

What To Do If Your Data Is Breached And How To Begin A Claim

If you are told or are aware that your data was breached, you should seek legal advice from an expert as soon as you can. This is especially true if three months have passed since you last had meaningful contact with Birmingham City Council.

A member of our team can help. One of our data breach solicitors will represent you on a No Win No Fee basis if we determine you have good reason to sue.

We provide a free, initial, no-obligation consultation that allows us to review your case. Once assessed, you will be sent a Conditional Fee Agreement (the formal name for a No Win No Fee agreement) to sign and return. The benefits of working with one of our No Win No Fee data breach lawyers includes but is not limited to:

  • Our lawyers have the necessary legal expertise to navigate the complexities of the legal process
  • We can review your case and work hard to make sure you receive the level of data breach compensation you deserve
  • Furthermore, you can choose to work with a No Win No Fee lawyer when we represent you

To see if you have grounds to pursue a Birmingham City Council data breach claim with our help, all you have to do is get in touch with a member of our team today.

What Damages Could Be Awarded?

When you make a successful Birmingham City Council data breach claim, you could receive non-material damages and material damages.

Material Damages

Material damages are awarded to reimburse financial losses linked to the data breach.

Non-material Damages

You could receive non-material damages to compensate for the mental harm (emotional distress) you suffered due to the data breach.

When you are the victim of a data breach, it is not just the financial losses you could incur that could negatively impact your life. Many people suffer psychological harm because they are left feeling vulnerable. You may find that you suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, stress, and anxiety.

To discuss your case with a member of the Legal Expert team, please reach out by calling the number at the top of the page.

Birmingham City Council Data Breach Compensation Calculator

Thanks to a landmark ruling in the Court of Appeal in the case Vidal-Hall v Google [2015], you can now claim non-material damages for psychological harm even when you don’t incur financial losses. Before this case, financial damage was required in order to claim for any mental harm.

The table below provides a general idea of the level of data breach compensation claimants could receive. The amounts indicated are based on the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a document that courts, personal injury solicitors, and insurance providers refer to when they value claims. Please note, these amounts cover non-material damages and do not include material damages you could be entitled to.

Harm causedSeverityNotesPotential Compensation Payout (non-material damages)
Psychiatric injurySevereLong-term, permanent psychological harm£51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric injuryModerately SeverePsychological harm which impacts their ability to function normally. Th prognosis, however, is more positive than described above£17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric injuryModerateClaimants suffer moderate psychological harm that negatively impacts their ability to function normally to some degree. With treatment and therapy, claimants would make a full recovery over time£5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric injuryLess SevereClaimant suffers psychological harm that affects their ability to sleep amongst other things all of which could be factored into the compensation payout awardedUp to £5,500
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)SevereClaimants suffer Post-traumatic stress disorder which is deemed to be permanent£56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Less SevereClaimant suffers PTSD but is expected to make a full recovery within 2 years
£3,710 to £7,680

Please get in touch today for free legal advice and to obtain a better idea of how much data breach compensation you could receive.

No Win No Fee Birmingham City Council Data Breach Compensation Claims

When you get in touch with Legal Expert, an experienced adviser will provide free advice and also review whether you have good cause to seek data breach compensation. If we find you have grounds to sue, you can choose to be represented by one of our expert data breach lawyers on a No Win No Fee basis.

When you work with a No Win No Fee lawyer, they will send you a contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The contract sets out the following:

  • You only pay a No Win No Fee lawyer a success fee when you win your data breach claim. This means there are no upfront or ongoing fees to pay
  • If you lose your case, you will not pay the success fee to the No Win No Fee lawyer, nor any other fees they incur representing you

The Benefits of Working with a No Win No Fee Lawyer

  • You don’t pay hourly fees or ongoing fees which makes the process less stressful financially
  • Furthermore, the ‘success fee’ is only paid if you win your claim
  • Moreover, if you win your case, the ‘success fee’ is taken from the amount you receive
  • Finally, the ‘success fee’ is legally capped so you keep most of the compensation payout you are awarded

How To Find Solicitors Specialising In Data Protection Breach Claims

You have various options when it comes to finding the right data breach lawyer to act on your behalf. You could:

  • Ask people you know for recommendations
  • Look for a data breach solicitor online
  • Contact Legal Expert to benefit from the expertise of data breach lawyers who possess the necessary legal expertise

It is worth noting that you do not have to use a solicitor local to you. These days, all communication can be done:

  • Over the phone
  • By email
  • Video conference

To find out how Legal Expert can help you secure the data breach compensation you deserve, please get in touch with a member of our team today.

Starting Your Data Breach Claim

To benefit from a free consultation and to find out how Legal Expert can be of help in securing you the right level of data breach compensation, please get in touch today. You can discuss your case with one of our expert advisers by:

  • Calling our claims helpline on 0800 073 8804
  • Using our Live Support Online Chat
  • Filling out the online claim form by clicking here 

Additional Resources

Useful external links:

Learn more about the Information Commissioner’s Office:

What The ICO Does

The 7 key principles of GDPR and the DPA 2018:

The Seven Key Principles of GDPR

Head here to learn more about the ICO’s enforcement action:

Enforcement action taken by the ICO

Internal links to our guides:

A guide to data breach compensation:

Data breach compensation 

How to claim stress due to a data breach:

Guide to claiming compensation for stress

More information regarding the Blackbaud data breach:

The Blackbaud data breach

FAQs

Please see the answers to several frequently asked questions relating to data breach claims.

Can I get compensation for a data breach?

Under data protection law, you have the right to seek compensation when your personal data is leaked whether intentionally, accidentally, or criminally and you suffer damage to your mental health or finances as a result.

Can local authorities be sued for data breaches?

Anyone who has their personal data compromised in a Local Authority data breach could have grounds to seek compensation if they suffer damage.

When should a data breach be reported to senior management?

A data breach should be reported to senior management within 12 hours of the incident being identified.

What data breaches need to be reported?

All notifiable data breaches must be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office no later than 72 hours after an incident is identified. The data breach could have happened accidentally, criminally, or intentionally.

Thank you for reading our guide to your legal rights if you fall victim to a Birmingham City Council data breach.

Guide by Wood

Edited by Billing

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