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Bury Metropolitan Borough Council Data Breach Claims

Your local authority may need to hold a wide range of personal data on you. There is legislation in place to protect your personal data. But what could you do if a Bury Metropolitan Borough Council data breach occurred and you were harmed as a result? That is one of the questions we will look at in this guide. We’ll also explain how you can access quality legal representation.

How To Claim For A Council Or Local Authority Data Protection Breach

Bury Metropolitan Borough council data breach claims guide

Bury Metropolitan Borough council data breach claims guide

We understand that you may have some questions that fall outside of the scope of this guide to answer. This is to be expected, as every claim has unique circumstances.

Don’t worry if you do have more questions, because we still have a way to help you. You can call 0800 073 8804. This claims line is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our team of expert claim advisors is waiting for your call to help you further.

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Some Guidance On Claims For A Bury Metropolitan Council Data Breach

The intent of this guide is to give you the information so you would know what steps to take if a  Bury Metropolitan Borough Council data breach ever occurred. We will begin by looking at the legislation that protects your personal data and some statistics related to central government data security incidents.

This is followed up by a definition of what a data breach is. You will also learn how the laws that protect personal data apply to the council as well.

The next part of the guide looks at how data breaches could potentially happen and what the process is for reporting a data breach and moving on to making a claim.  Also, we explain the No Win No Fee way of funding legal representation when making a claim.

The closing sections of this guide offer some advice that is related to how to start a claim. Additionally, we have added resources such as some useful links and an FAQ section.

Claim Time Limits

There will be a limit to the time that you have to begin a compensation claim for harm caused by a data breach. But this time limit will be based on the specifics of your case. For example:

  • One year for claims against a public body
  • Six years for claims against all other organisations.

There are, however, various factors that can have an impact on this time limit. Therefore, you may like to reach out to our claims team to find out which claims time limit will apply.

How Often Do Data Breaches Take Place?

The UK government organisation that is responsible for enforcing data privacy and security legislation is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Later on in this guide, we will look at what the ICO does a little more closely.

However, for now, we have included some of the data that pertains to data breaches the ICO makes public. This data has been used to create the graph below.

Government Data Breach Causes

Laws That Apply

There are multiple bodies of data protection legislation that make up UK data privacy and security laws. The GDPR is a European data directive that was ratified into UK law with the Data Protection Act 2018. This has since been altered since leaving the EU and runs alongside the UK-GDPR. 

What Could Be A Bury Metropolitan Council Data Breach?

The local authority has a legal obligation to protect your data. However, not all data is protected by the UK-GDPR; it must be personal data in order to be protected by these laws.

Personal data is any data that can be used to identify you. This can either be in isolation or when combined with other information.

A data breach is a security incident that results in your information being lost, stolen, altered, destroyed or accessed without authorisation. In some cases, a data breach may happen as the result of an attack by a hacker. However, a breach could also happen as the result of a mistake or human error.

In order to make a claim following a breach of your personal data, you need to show that you were caused harm by the breach. You can claim for both financial and emotional harm as part of a data breach claim.

You would also need to show that the breach was caused by failings on the part of the data controller, the organisation responsible for keeping your personal information safe. If the council did all they could to prevent a breach from happening, but one occurred anyway, then you may not be able to claim.

Do Councils Have To Conform With GDPR?

As a data controller (an organisation that controls how data is processed), a local council must still follow the rules set out in the GDPR. This also means that they need to adhere to the seven key principles that lie at the heart of GDPR.

In order to comply with these seven key principles, local councils must:

  • Process data lawfully and fairly, and in a transparent manner
  • Only collect data for a specified and explicit purpose
  • Limit the data collected to what is necessary
  • Ensure data is accurate and kept up-to-date where necessary
  • Limit the storage of the data
  • Ensure that the data is stored in a secure manner
  • Demonstrate compliance with the rest of these principles and take responsibility for adhering to them

If a Bury Metropolitan Borough Council data breach were to occur because the council failed to keep your data safe, our team could help you by answering any questions you may have. You can get free legal advice by calling us on the number at the top of this page.

What Breaches In Data Protection Could Affect Councils?

Your local authority will likely store and process a fair amount of data about you and your family. This could be the case even if you are simply a resident in the council area. And if you make use of any council services, such as council housing or social services, then the council will need to process your data to provide these services.

Below, we have included some examples of how a data breach could potentially occur.

  • An employee emails your personal data to a recipient that does not have permission to view it.
  • A letter containing your personal data is sent to the wrong address.
  • Someone who works for social services discusses your case with their colleague in earshot of someone without authorisation, mentioning you by name.
  • Paper records that contain personal data are not disposed of correctly.

To have a valid cause to claim data breach compensation you would need to prove that a council did not do all they could to protect your data. You would also need to show that you were caused harm by the breach. Call our claims team to find out if your own claim is valid.

Failing To Secure Social Services Or Council Tenants Data

As we have already mentioned, the council may store a greater volume of your personal data if you use one of their services, like social services or council housing. UK GDPR protects this information whether it’s stored digitally or physically.

Below we look at how personal data has the potential to be breached:

  • A digitally stored record, such as a scan of your passport, being left open on an unattended computer screen. Someone walking past who does not have the authorisation to access this data could see it.
  • Physical documents such as your tenancy agreement get left out on a desk. As a result, it can be viewed by unauthorised parties.
  • The cybersecurity measures that protect your rent statements could be lacking. As a result, a cybercriminal is able to use this vulnerability to access your bank details.

You may have many questions such as ”is it possible to claim against social services or another department in the council if your personal data is leaked or exposed?” Or ”What can be claimed in damages for a data protection breach?” If we do not answer these questions in this guide our advisors are available 24/7 to provide answers to any questions you may have.

ICO Data Breach Reporting Procedures

We’ve covered the laws that protect your personal data. But would you know what to do if a Bury Metropolitan Borough Council data breach occurred and your personal data was exposed?

If you think your personal data has been exposed in a data breach, then the first thing you could do is contact a Data Protection Officer at the relevant council. You can express any concerns that you have about how your data is being used, and the ICO has a template that you can use to do so.

If you do not receive an adequate response from the council, you can move on to report the potential data breach to the ICO. However, if you do report a concern to the ICO, you will need to do so within three months of your last meaningful communication with the organisation. If you don’t, then the ICO may not take any action.

Is Bury Council Responsible If My Data Privacy Is Breached?

Not all data breaches will mean that a person whose data has been exposed will qualify for compensation. Data breach claims are only valid on the basis that you can prove there were failings when it comes to your data being protected. If a data controller has taken all necessary steps to keep your data safe then a claim will be less likely.

It’s not a requirement for you to have legal representation in order to make a claim, and you could receive compensation without a lawyer. However, the process of making a claim for harm caused by a data breach can be complex.

For this reason, we recommend that you have a data breach solicitor represent you in the claims process. Their guidance and support can help you get the maximum amount of compensation you’re entitled to.

 Calculating The Effects Of Data Breaches

There could be two heads of claim if you seek damages for the harm caused by a data breach. Firstly, you could claim for the emotional harm that the breach has caused you. For example, a breach may cause you stress, depression or anxiety. In some cases, you could experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In the Court of Appeal, the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] set a precedent for claiming for psychological injuries even when no financial loss has occurred. As a result, you could be owed compensation for mental harm, even when the data breach didn’t result in any financial losses.

Secondly, a data breach could have an effect on your finances. For example, you could be the victim of identity theft where a hacker then sets up credit cards in your name, which has a negative effect on your credit rating. Furthermore, if your bank details were exposed, a cybercriminal could steal money directly from your account. As part of a data breach claim, you could receive these costs back.

How To Calculate Damages For A Bury Metropolitan Council Data Breach

At the start of this guide, we mentioned how every claim is unique in some way. Because of this, it is impossible to provide you with an average figure you might receive for a successful claim.

What we can do, however, is include this table below that shows different ranges of compensation that you could receive. You can use it to get a rough idea of the value of your psychological suffering is. We used information found in the guidelines produced by the Judicial College to make this table. They provide a publication that contains past case amounts settled in court for personal injuries.

Mental Problem How Severe? Possible Compensation More Facts
Psychiatric harm Less severe Up to £5,500 The compensation awarded will take into consideration how the claimant’s daily life has been affected, including an impact on sleep.
Psychiatric harm Moderate £5,500 – £17,900 The claimant will have significant problems relating to many different aspects of their life. However, there will have been marked improvement and a good prognosis.
Psychiatric harm Moderately severe £17,900 – £51,460 The claimant will have had the sort of problems relating to many different aspects of their life. However, the prognosis will be more positive than in more severe cases.
Psychiatric harm Severe £51,460 – £108,620 The claimant will have marked problems relating to many different aspects of their life. The prognosis will be very poor.

We’re able to use these figures because of another landmark court case. In Gulati vs MGN Ltd [2015], it was held that claims for emotional harm caused by a data breach can be valued in a similar way to those in personal injury claims.

We can arrange for a solicitor to value your claim if you would like a more accurate estimate of the amount of compensation you might receive. Please call today to speak with a member of our team.

Data Breach Solicitors For No Win No Fee Claims

You have probably come across the phrase No Win No Fee before. But how could it benefit you in a potential claim should a Bury Metropolitan Borough Council data breach occur?

When you engage a lawyer under a No Win No Fee agreement, they are not going to request you pay a fee in order for them to start work on your case. You will also not be asked to pay ongoing fees to your solicitor. Additionally, if the claim is a failure, your lawyer will not expect to be paid their fee at all.

However, following a successful claim, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your settlement. This is legally capped to ensure you receive the majority of the compensation you are awarded. Call and speak to our claims team for more information about No Win No Fee agreements.

Solicitors Handling Your Data Breach Claim Against Bury Metropolitan Council

We feel that the best thing to do when pursuing a claim for harm caused by a data breach is to seek the guidance and representation of a data breach lawyer. This will ensure that they have a good understanding of this area of law, as well as a wealth of experience handling similar claims in the past.

If this is something that interests you, you should call and speak to our team of advisors today. Our lawyers are well versed in data breach law and can help you get the full amount of compensation you deserve. Speak to a member of our team today to be connected with one of our solicitors.

Talk To A Claims Expert

We hope you feel prepared with steps to take if a Bury Metropolitan Borough Council data breach were to occur. If you have any more questions, we can help. Use the contact information to get in touch with our team and they will walk you through the claims process.

Supplementary Info

These other guides may be of interest to you:

Here are some other useful links from external sources:

Information On Personal Data Breaches

Make A Complaint About A Data Breach

A Guide To Data Protection

FAQs On Breaches Of Council Data Protection

Answers to common data breach claim related questions can be found below.

Who’s responsible for protecting data in the Council?

The council Data Protection Officer (DPO) is responsible for ensuring that data protection laws are complied with.

Can you get compensation for a data protection breach?

Yes, you could be able to claim for financial loss and mental injuries. However, you would need to show that the breach happened because of failings on the part of the data controller in order to do so.

What is classed as a breach of data protection?

A data breach is a security incident where your personal data is lost, stolen, altered, destroyed or accessed without authorisation. It can happen as the result of human error or a malicious attack on the part of a hacker.

Thank you for reading our guide. We hope you feel confident that you would be able to spot a Bury Metropolitan Borough Council data breach if one were to occur.

Written by Wheeler

Edited by Stocks

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    Meet The Team

    • 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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