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Brentwood Borough Council Data Breach Claims

Within this guide we shall look at examining what to do should a Brentwood Borough Council data breach occur. If you suspect that a data breach affecting Brentwood Borough Council may have taken place then this guide is just for you. ”What is a data breach?” is a question that is very often asked. Well in this guide we are going to explain how a data breach has the potential to leak your personal information. Also, if your data was leaked could you make a data breach claim? Throughout the guide, you will find out what criteria needs to be fulfilled before a No Win No Fee solicitor could agree to work on your case.

Brentwood Borough Council data breach claims guide

Data breach affecting Brentwood Borough Council claims guide

However, before we start with this guide, you need to understand that every claim will have some unique aspects. This could be in the reasons for bringing the claim, or the reasons for seeking damages. Your claim might be similar to other data breach claims but it won’t be exactly the same. In conclusion, we can’t promise to answer every question you have in this guide. The permutations of potentially different circumstances of a claim are too many.

But, even if this guide doesn’t answer all of the questions that you have, our claims team can. You can call 0800 073 8804 and speak to one of our expert advisors, any time of the day, 7 days a week. They can provide you with the answers that you need.

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A Guide On Claims For A Data Breach Affecting Brentwood Borough Council

If there were to be a data breach affecting Brentwood Borough Council, would you know your rights? Furthermore, would you know that a data breach has the potential to expose personal information that could lead to you suffering financial loss or stress, trauma and psychological harm. It is the goal of this guide to inform you when a data breach could mean you are eligible to make a compensation claim. In short, this guide will act as a basic overview of the process of starting a data breach claim.

We look at some key data breach statistics in the first part of this guide. You will learn about the types of data that have to be protected. Furthermore, we will introduce the laws that apply in the UK related to data security and privacy.

Moving on, this guide contains a few sections that look at the responsibilities of the council in relation to data security and privacy. In addition, we have provided a number of examples that look at how personal information could be leaked in a data breach.

Following on, we cover the process of reporting and complaining about a data breach. Additionally, we outline the process of starting a claim for a data breach.

Next, we introduce some financial considerations that relate to claiming. We examine some of the reasons behind claiming damages. Furthermore, a sample compensation table has been added. You can use this to get a rough idea of the value of any suffering caused by the breach.

Lastly, No Win No Fee agreements are discussed and you will learn how such a fee structure works. We have also added some links you might find useful and some answers to common data breach claim questions.

Deadlines For Claiming

You have to start your claim within the applicable time limit. Fundamentally, this deadline depends on the facts of your claim. Typically, the deadline for a data breach claim is from one to six years. However, when claiming against a public body such as a council, the time limit will normally be one year.

However, there is a further consideration. In some cases, additional factors could influence this time limit. Therefore, we would recommend that you call our claims team and explain your claim to them. They can then tell you exactly which deadline is going to be in place.

Data Privacy Breach Statistics

In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for overseeing data privacy and security laws. We will look at this a little more closely later in this guide. Right now, we just need to look at some of the data that the ICO makes available to the public.

We used some of this data to make the graph below. It illustrates cyber security data incidents that occurred in the first financial quarter of 2021/22. It looked specifically at cyber incidents rather than data breaches as a whole.

Statistical Graph Local Government Cyber Security Incidents

Local Government Cyber Security Incidents

What Could A Data Breach Affecting Brentwood Borough Council Be?

Your local authority has a legal obligation to protect any data that falls under the remit of UK legislation. It must take all applicable action to protect this data at all times. When this doesn’t happen, it can put your data at risk. As a result, when this risk is exposed or exploited, it could allow unauthorised access or use of your data. In short, your data could be used in a way that causes you mental trauma or financial loss.

In such cases, a compensation claim might be possible. However, a consideration here is the matter of proving liability. You must be able to demonstrate that the data controller, this is the organisation that collects your personal information, failed to take adequate measures to keep your data safe. For some advice on how to go about this, you can call and talk to one of our claim advisors.

What Data Is Protected?

Under UK law, Brentwood Borough Council does not need to protect every piece of data that it stores or processes about you. It only has to protect the types of data that rules and regulations stipulate. In short, the types of data that must be protected are outlined below.

  • Personal data – this is all of the data that relates directly to you. Your name, phone numbers, email address, postal address, passport information, etc. Additionally, your personal data includes things like your credit/debit card information, bank account number, etc.
  • Special data – this is all the rest of the data that can be used to learn things about you, and potentially exploited in some way. As examples; your religion and race, any union memberships, genome data, medical records, financial records, etc.

What Laws Apply?

Prior to Brexit, the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applied to information security in the UK. However, since the UK has now left the EU, local legislation applies. This legislation includes UK GDPR and also the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).

The UK GDPR And Local Authorities

Your local authority has to be UK GDPR compliant. It must protect your data in the same way any company or privately operated organisation must. Compliance will help to ensure a data breach affecting Brentwood Borough Council does not occur. Therefore, the council must follow the principles of UK GDPR. In short, it must embrace and act on the principles outlined below.

  • Adopt a policy where personal and special data is always safeguarded.
  • Maintaining accurate data.
  • Store your data for a limited amount of time.
  • Store only the bare minimum amount of your data needed.
  • Be compliant with these principles.
  • Purpose limitation
  • Approach data related activities legally, fairly and in a transparent way.

A data breach affecting a council could happen accidentally, deliberately or through personal information being accessed or processed without a lawful basis. Sometimes those who have their data breached may suffer mental hardship and monetary loss.

To find out if you have a valid data breach claim why not call our claims team right away. They will provide a free consultation so that you can have your case assessed. There is no obligation and you can be in receipt of free legal advice.

What Is Considered A Data Breach?

Data breaches can happen to files stored digitally. They can also happen through human error and physical files that contain personal information. As we have said before data breaches might be the result of an accident or deliberate action. But fundamentally they are security incidents that allow personal information to be lost, stolen, destroyed or accessed without authorisation or a lawful basis.

Below, we have outlined some potential data security and privacy hazards that could affect personal information;

  • Physical records such as old files that contain your data, are disposed of without following best practices.
  • An employee that has access to personal information about you or your family, discusses this data outside of the workplace.
  • Cybersecurity vulnerabilities can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain unlawful access to your special or personal data. As a result, your data is used in a fraudulent manner.
  • An email containing some of your data is sent to a recipient that has not been authorised to have it.

A data breach does not automatically mean that those affected will qualify for compensation. The onus is on the claimant to provide proof that those who should have been protecting their data failed to take appropriate steps to keep it safe.

Housing And Community Service Data Privacy

If you regularly deal with Social Services, or are a council tenant, then you may have quite a bit of data stored about you on their systems. The information that could be processed includes; your contact details, any medical conditions you have supplied them with, as well as banking details and other financial information.

Below, we look at the potential way this personal information could be breached;

  • Digital documents, such as a digitised copy of a rent statement is left open on a computer screen. In a place where any passerby can see and read it.
  • A landlord is sent an information pack about you, but personal information was not redacted. Therefore, the landlord gains access to data they do not have permission for.
  • Personal information about you or your family is hacked because the cyber security systems were never updated.
  • Digital data stored on a device like a hard drive is lost and is not encrypted.

To find out how to proceed with a claim, contact our claims team.

Who Notifies The Information Commissioner?

Do you think there has been a data breach affecting Brentwood Borough Council? To find out whether there has been a data breach you can take several approaches. First of all, you could contact the council itself. You can ask whether there has been a data breach. If there has, you can ask whether your information has been affected.

Generally, when a data controller suffers a data breach, if your rights and freedoms are at risk they must inform the ICO within 72 hours and also you without undue delay.

If you don’t receive a proper response about your query, or if a data breach has occurred, you can move on to make a complaint to the ICO. Specifically, complaints about either a) the data breach itself or b) how your rights under UK GDPR were not taken into consideration properly.

Unfortunately, the ICO does not usually follow up on a report if the last communication you had with the data controller was longer than three months ago.

What Should I Do If My Data Privacy Was Breached?

If you suspect there has been a data breach affecting Brentwood Borough Council it might be a good idea to collect evidence. Any correspondence between you, the data controller and the ICO could all be used as evidence.

Also, gather any financial information that you think proves you have suffered losses due to a possible data breach. If you have any medical evidence that backs up your suffering caused by a potential data breach this should also be collected.

We can help you by assessing the merits of your case for free. You can call our claims team and have an advisor evaluate your claim. If it is valid, they can organise a solicitor to begin processing it for you.

What Could I Claim Compensation For?

In summary, there will be two main sources of damages if you make a successful compensation claim for a data breach. Firstly, for any mental hardship, stress or trauma – this would fall under non-material damages. Secondly, material damages could be claimed for any financial losses you faced because of the data breach.

Back in 2015, the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. was heard at the Court of Appeal. Subsequently, the claim was won. The defendants were awarded damages for mental harm, despite no financial losses being encountered. This has set the precedent for you to do the same. A data breach could be extremely traumatising and stressful, potentially causing psychological damage. You might be able to claim compensation for this.

You may face direct financial loss due to your data being used by a cybercriminal. For example, purchases made on your credit cards, or bank account funds being transferred out. If your claim is a success, you could potentially claim these losses back.

How Much Is A Data Breach Claim Worth?

It is nye on impossible to calculate an average compensation payment. However, we can provide you with the table below, showing possible compensation ranges for non-material damages. We used the information found in the guidelines produced by the Judicial College to make this table. Alternatively, you can try out our compensation calculator.

Level of Harm Health Problem Possible Damages More Data
Moderate Psychiatric damage £5,500 – £17,900 Moderate psychological harm caused by traumatic events. The symptoms will have a measurable effect on the life of the victim. Minor symptoms may continue for some time post-recovery.
Moderately severe Psychiatric damage £17,900 – £51,460 Moderately severe psychological harm caused by very traumatic events. The symptoms will have a significant effect on the life of the victim. Some problematic symptoms may continue for some time post-recovery.
Less severe Psychiatric damage Up to £5,500 Less severe psychological harm caused by shocking or stressful events. The symptoms will have a minor effect on the life of the victim. Some trivial symptoms may continue for some time post-recovery but will have little impact on life quality.
Severe Psychiatric damage £51,460 – £108,620 Severe psychological harm caused by very traumatic events, repeatedly. The symptoms will have a large effect on the life of the victim. Some major symptoms will continue for the rest of the person’s life, impacting the victim’s life significantly.

No Win No Fee Claims For A Data Breach Affecting Brentwood Borough Council

You most likely have come across the phrase No Win No Fee before. You probably already know that this is a common way for people to get legal help to make a personal injury claim. But you might not realise that the same fee structure can be applied to a claim for a data breach affecting Brentwood Borough Council.

You would not need to pay any upfront solicitor fees, and no solicitor fees while the claim is being processed. If the claim fails, your solicitor won’t ask to be paid a fee at all. But if the claim is won, a small success fee will be due. Your solicitor can take this directly from the settlement they were sent for you.

Finding The Right Solicitor For Your Claim

It is a good idea to choose a specialist claims solicitor to process your claim for a data breach. This will give you the best chance of your claim being won, and also the best chance of receiving the maximum level of compensation possible.

Just call our team and explain your situation. An advisor will evaluate your claim, and then assign a solicitor to start processing it for you if it is valid. In most cases, this will be under a No Win No Fee agreement. Meaning nothing to pay until your claim has been won.

Contact An Expert

Thank you for reading this article on steps that could be taken should a data breach affecting Brentwood Borough Council occur.

Use the contact details below to reach out to our team. They are available 24/7, 365 days of the year to help you get your claim started.

Telephone: 0800 073 8804

Use our webchat or fill in a contact request.

Useful Pages

Here are some links to other guides that we have published in relation to data breach claims.

You may like to view these other web pages that also have useful information.

Q&A Section

Below, are some short, simple answers to the kinds of questions you might have about a data breach claim.

Has there been a data breach in 2021?

According to data provided by the ICO, there have been 72 recorded enforcements in the UK at the time this page was published.

Who do I contact about a data breach?

You can contact the data controller, and you can also contact the ICO. To make a claim, contact our advisors.

What qualifies as a data breach?

A data breach occurs when your special or personal data is involved in a security incident. This means your personal data has been lost, stolen, destroyed, accessed or altered without a lawful basis. This can be accidental or deliberate.

Should I report to the ICO?

Yes you can report a data breach to the ICO.

Thank you for reading this article on steps that could be taken should a data breach affecting Brentwood Borough Council occur.

Guide By Wheeler

Edited By Melissa.

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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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