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Blackburn With Darwen Borough Council Data Breach Claims

In this guide, we look at what you might do after a Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council data breach.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council data breach

It is normal for councils and other governing bodies to collect personal data from members of the public. Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is the governing body for the towns of Blackburn and Darwen in Lancashire. The council may collect personal data from residents, employees, and people who use their website to operate.

Borough Council Data Protection Breaches

Like organisations, councils are responsible for protecting the personal data that it collects. Therefore, what happens if a personal data breach takes place? Under certain circumstances, the victims could claim data breach compensation.

If a data protection breach has affected you, Legal Expert can help you. We could connect you to an experienced data breach solicitor to handle your compensation claim. The solicitor would properly value your claim so that you will receive the right amount of compensation.

What’s more, our advisors are available 24/7 and give free legal advice. You’ll also be under no obligation to proceed with our services. So why not get in contact with Legal Expert today?

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804 for your free data breach claims consultation
  • Or email us about your experience via our website
  • Use our live chat to get instant answers from an advisor

On the other hand, you can continue reading this guide to learn more.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide On Blackburn With Darwen Borough Council Data Breach Compensation Claims
  2. 2021 Cyber Attack Statistics
  3. What Are Claims For A Blackburn With Darwen Borough Council Data Breach?
  4. GDPR And How It Could Apply To The Borough Council
  5. What Are The Main Causes Of Data Privacy Breaches?
  6. Can I Claim Compensation For A Social Housing Data Breach?
  7. When Should You Report A Data Breach?
  8. Taking Your Case To Court
  9. How Do Solicitors Value Compensation Settlements?
  10. How To Calculate Blackburn With Darwen Borough Council Data Breach Compensation
  11. Can I Make A No Win No Fee Borough Council Data Breach Claim?
  12. Make A Data Breach Claim Against Your Borough Council
  13. Contact Us Today
  14. Articles Related To This Guide
  15. Data Protection And Privacy FAQs

A Guide On Blackburn With Darwen Borough Council Data Breach Compensation Claims

In this guide, we will explain what a data breach is and how it can happen. And we will look at how a breach of data protection can affect those involved. Moreover, if your local council has breached your personal data privacy, we will explain what you could do.

Those who are subjected to a council data breach can usually claim compensation under the following circumstances:

  • The council’s positive wrongful conduct led to the data breach.
  • Their personal information was affected.
  • They have suffered emotional distress because of a data breach; and/or
  • They have experienced financial losses because of a data breach.

Contact Legal Expert today if you have any questions. We can connect you with a skilled data protection lawyer on the condition that you have legitimate, strong grounds to claim. Your lawyer could handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

How long do you have to claim compensation for a data breach?

The general time limit to begin your data breach claim is 6 years. However, for public bodies such as councils, this can be 1 year. Get in touch with our advisors for free legal advice on how long you might have to claim.

2021 Cyber Attack Statistics

There are many different reasons why a city council data breach can happen. Many of them are caused by human error. However, cyberattacks and cybersecurity breaches can also cause data breaches. The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 gives us some invaluable insight into how common cyber security breaches are.

The survey shows statistics regarding data breaches in businesses and charities in the 12 months before they responded to the survey.

  • 26% (or a quarter) of charities experienced a cyber security breach in the 12 months leading up to March 2021.
  • Similarly, 39% (or four in ten) of businesses experienced a cyber security breach during the same period of time.
  • What’s more, 23% of charities who had experienced cyber security breaches said they experienced them once a week.
  • And 27% of businesses that had experienced cyber security breaches also said that they happened weekly.
  • Furthermore, 18% of charities and 21% of businesses said they lost data, money or other assets due to these security breaches.

What Are Claims For A Blackburn With Darwen Council Data Breach?

A council data breach is a security incident that compromises personal data protection. Personal data would be lost, disclosed, destroyed, altered or accessed unlawfully. A local borough council data breach can happen because a council employee made an unintentional error. Or criminal activity can cause a local council data breach.

The following mishaps could all be considered council data protection breaches, though they might not always be caused by the council’s failings:

  • The council loses personal data records, or these records are stolen.
  • Personal data is exposed or leaked in an insecure environment to people who don’t have a lawful reason to access it.
  • The council alters, encrypts or deletes personal data without a lawful reason to.
  • Or the council accidentally grants an unauthorised person access to the personal data.

We will look at how data breaches can happen and their effect on the victim later in this guide.

GDPR And How It Could Apply To The Borough Council

Your data protection rights are upheld by data protection laws in the UK. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU law. The Data Protection Act 2018 enacted the GDPR into our laws. This Act was updated and now sits alongside the UK GDPR.

Consequently, organisations that process or collect personal data have to follow the UK GDPR, including local borough councils.

The UK GDPR requires organisations to protect the personal data they collect from members of the public. Indeed, the regulations require organisations to protect personal data. For example, they might install a strong cyber security system and train employees to manage personal data correctly.

What’s more, the UK GDPR states that victims of a data protection breach may be eligible to claim compensation. However, there are certain factors that must be met before a claim can be made:

  1. The organisation that was supposed to protect the personal data should have caused the data breach through positive wrongful conduct (such as having poor cyber-security defences).
  2. The victim’s personal information should have been affected.
  3. They should have suffered financial loss and/or psychological harm as a result.

What Could The GDPR Mean For A Potential Blackburn With Darwen Borough Council Data Breach?

The UK GDPR refers to individuals as data subjects when their personal data is collected processed. Moreover, the UK GDPR requires councils to do the following when collecting personal data.

  • First of all, the council should obtain consent from a data subject before collecting their personal data. (However, they don’t always need your consent to share your personal data.)
  • Secondly, the council should inform the data subject of their purpose for collecting the data. Following that, the council cannot use the data for another purpose unless there’s a lawful exception.
  • Thirdly, when the council holds or uses personal data, they should ensure it’s up-to-date and accurate.
  • And finally, the council should follow the law when it processes personal data.

These are just some of the UK GDPR rules that councils should follow.

Normally councils cannot share personal information without permission. However, there are a few lawful bases to do so. For example, if it believes a person’s life is at risk it can share personal information.

What Are The Main Causes Of Data Privacy Breaches?

There are two main reasons why a borough council data protection breach can happen. The first reason is an accidental error; for instance, a council employee making a mistake. The second reason is deliberate behaviour (such as malicious or criminal). An example could be a malware attack on the council.

Let’s look at some potential causes of a borough council data privacy breach that can happen below:

  • The council sends an email containing personal data to the wrong recipient, therefore sharing personal information with another party without a lawful basis.
  • A council employee leaves documents containing personal data in a public place. Therefore an unauthorised person may find the document and access the data.
  • The council publishes community safety information without redacting personal information.
  • A social services data breach occurs, whereby the council shares information about a child in protective custody without a lawful reason.
  • A council employee accidentally attaches a scan of a confidential document containing personal information in an email.
  • Criminals carry out a cyberattack on the council’s systems using malware. As a result, the criminals gain access to personal information belonging to employees or residents.
  • A disgruntled employee intentionally leaks personal information to carry out a personal vendetta against the council. This would be an example of an ‘insider threat’.

Please get in touch with a Legal Expert if you believe that a council has breached your personal data privacy. You may be eligible to make a compensation claim for any financial or psychological damages caused. If you have grounds for a strong claim, we can connect you to our skilled data breach solicitors to discuss your claim.

Can I Claim Compensation For A Social Housing Data Breach?

Many council housing tenants pay their rent to the council via standing order or direct debit. Many local councils prefer this method, as it can help stop subletting from taking place. However, this process means that the council has access to the tenant’s banking information.

If you are a council house tenant, the council may hold the following personal data about you:

  • Your name and address
  • Your date of birth
  • Information about the other people who live in your home
  • Your phone number and email address
  • Banking information
  • Sensitive personal data about your sex, race, religion and other personal characteristics.

A social housing data breach may compromise your data security. Please call our claims helpline today if you’ve been affected by such a personal data breach.

When Should You Report A Data Breach?

What should a council do if a data breach takes place that threatens the rights and freedoms of data subjects? The council would have 72 hours in which to report the data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This is a body that enforces data protection legislation in the UK. The ICO has the authority to investigate and fine organisations that breach personal data privacy.

Should you report a data breach to the ICO?

In the event of a council data breach, we recommend that you raise a complaint directly with your council instead. They may be able to resolve the problem internally.

However, if you believe that the council has not addressed the issue properly, within three months of your last meaningful contact with the council on the matter, you can contact the ICO and report the data breach. Please note that the Information Commissioner’s Office is unlikely to investigate a case older than three months, so we advise you to do this promptly.

It’s also important to note that the ICO can’t give you compensation. However, you could access this by making a claim.

Taking Your Case To Court

What should you do if you have spoken to the council about the data breach and feel they have not properly addressed your concerns? Providing you suffered mental harm or financial loss as a consequence of the data breach, you may be eligible to claim compensation.

If both parties can agree to a solution, you can settle your claim out of court. The vast majority of cases are settled out of court.

What are the benefits of trusting Legal Expert to handle your claim?

  • Our solicitors have solid experience.
  • What’s more, your solicitor will assess your case in depth. This means that they’ll try to negotiate the right amount of compensation for you.
  • And our solicitors can offer you the option to make a No Win No Fee claim.

This guide aims to help you understand what you could do after a Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council data breach. However, please feel free to contact Legal Expert today if you have any questions.

How Do Solicitors Value Compensation Settlements?

Sadly, being the victim of a data breach can have many adverse effects. Some people who experience a data breach suffer emotional distress afterwards. In extreme cases, the victim may experience psychological injuries. These psychological injuries could worsen post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, or lead to anxiety, negatively affecting the victim’s quality of life.

Unfortunately, many people can also experience financial losses after a data breach. Criminals can use stolen personal data to access the victim’s bank account or steal other assets. If there is enough personal information accessed, the criminals may carry out fraud or identity theft. This can result in the data breach victim losing more money.

If you win your data breach claim against your local council, you could receive up to two heads of claim:

  • Material damages: These compensate you for the financial losses that the data breach caused.
  • Non-material damages: These compensate you for any psychiatric injuries or emotional distress that the data breach caused.

How To Calculate Darwen With Blackburn Darwen Borough Council Data Breach Compensation?

You may be wondering how much you could potentially claim for a data breach by your local council. You can use the compensation table below to estimate approximately how much you could receive. The compensation amounts in this table are based on the latest guidelines from the Judicial College. Your lawyer might use these guidelines and your medical report to value your claim.

Edit
Type Of Injury Injury Assessment And Information Estimate Of Settlement
Psychiatric Damage – Severe How much compensation you could be paid for a psychiatric injury could be awarded based on the following factors: whether and how well the victim is expected to cope with aspects of life such as education or work; how vulnerable the person could be in the future; the victim’s prognosis;
effects on the victim’s relationships.
£51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric Damage – Moderately Severe Claimants may be affected by the same factors as the person above. The effects will be to a lower degree and be assessed as moderately severe. £17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric Damage – Moderate The victim in this case will again have been affected in these same ways. The effects are to a lower degree and the person will have a better prognosis. £5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric Damage – Less Severe This claimant is expected to make a much better recovery. Their award will also take any disability the claimant may have been left with into account. Up to £5,500
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Severe The victim may have been harmed in a way which prevents them from being able to work, continue in education or to maintain relationships in the same way as prior to the incident. £56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Moderately Severe Professional treatment could help the person to make a degree of recovery and have a better prognosis. £21,730 to £56,180

Please note, we have only included non-material damages in this table. Material damages compensation amounts are not included because the amount claimants receive can vary greatly. If you would like to receive a personalised estimate of how much compensation you could claim, please call us today to speak to an advisor.

Can I Make A No Win No Fee Borough Council Data Breach Claim?

You may be able to make a No Win No Fee agreement with your solicitor. Making a No Win No Fee claim is the preferred option for many of our clients.

The benefits of claiming on such a basis include not having to pay your solicitor’s fee upfront. You also won’t have to pay any ongoing solicitor fees. This means that a No Win No Fee claim may be the more affordable choice for hiring a solicitor. in addition, you won’t be charged a solicitor’s fee if your claim is unsuccessful.

How Does A No Win No Fee Claim Work?

  • Firstly, you sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (the formal term for a No Win No Fee agreement), which outlines that you will pay a success fee under the circumstances that your solicitor wins your claim. It also outlines that if the claim doesn’t win, you don’t pay any solicitor fees.
  • Afterwards, your solicitor will begin work on your data breach claim.
  • And if your claim is successful, you will pay a success fee. This will be deducted from your compensation package. (It’s legally capped to a small percentage.)

You can learn more about the benefits of making a No Win No Fee claim by reading this online guide. Or, if you are ready to begin your claim, please get in touch with Legal Expert today.

Make A Data Breach Claim Against Your Borough Council

Do you need to use a lawyer in Blackburn to manage your compensation claim? If you live in Blackburn or Darwen, our lawyers can handle your claim from anywhere in the country. You don’t have to be restricted to the services of local lawyers and can communicate with our solicitors in whichever way you choose: online meetings, emails or phone calls for example.

Get in touch with our advisors to see if they can connect you with our lawyers.

Contact Us Today

If you have evidence of a valid data breach claim, contact us today using the details below:

  • Call our free compensation claims helpline on 0800 073 8804
  • Or use our online claim form to request a callback at a time best for you.
  • On the other hand, you can use the contact widget on our screen to ask us a question directly.

Our advisors are here for you 24/7 and give free legal advice. What’s more, you’ll be under no obligation to proceed with the services of our solicitors.

Articles Related To This Guide

We do hope that this Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council data protection breach guide is helpful. You can also read these guides to learn more.

And here are some external resources:

Other Guides That May Be Helpful

Data Protection And Privacy FAQs

We will now answer some frequently asked questions about data protection and making a data breach claim.

What are your rights to data privacy?

If an organisation holds or processes your personal data, you will have certain data protection rights. These include the right to access your personal data and rectify it if you believe it is inaccurate.

What should a company do if there is a data breach?

If a company experiences a data breach that risks the freedoms and rights of those whose personal data is involved, it should report the data breach to the ICO. What’s more, the company should notify people who have been affected by the data breach.

How should I deal with a breach of data protection?

If you believe an organisation has breached your personal data privacy, please get in touch with them. You may need to update the passwords of your online accounts and change some of your banking details.

How do I make an official complaint?

You can make a complaint about a personal data breach to the Infomation Commissioner’s Office but should do so within three months of the last meaningful contact on the matter from the organisation involved.

Thank you for reading our guide on what you could do following a Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council data breach.

Written by Chelache

Edited by Victorine

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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.

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