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Cannock Chase District Council Data Breach Claims

In this guide, we consider what to potentially do if a Cannock Chase District Council data breach were to occur.

Reading this guide is going to equip you with a basic knowledge of what makes a valid data breach compensation claim. We’ll also walk you through the process of starting a claim. Put simply, this guide should make a perfect primer for people who are unsure whether they can proceed with a data breach claim.

Am I Eligible To Claim For A Data Breach At My Council?

Cannock Chase District Council data breach

Your claim will be based on a unique situation, both in the way that the claim came about and in the reasons you could be seeking damages. Because of this, our guide might not have all the answers for you. That’s why our advisors are available 24/7 and give free legal advice.

If you do need additional questions addressed, you can contact our advisors on 0800 073 8804. Otherwise, you use our online live chat to send a message to an advisor instantly.

If you have grounds for a solid claim, our advisors could appoint one of our solicitors to your case. However, you’ll be under no obligation to proceed with these services if you get in touch.

Select A Section:

  1. A Guide About Claims For Cannock Chase District Council Data Breaches
  2. How Commonly Do Data Breaches Happen?
  3. What Are Claims For Cannock Chase District Council Data Breaches?
  4. How The UK GDPR Applies To District Councils
  5. Ways District Councils Could Breach Your Data Privacy
  6. Data Protection In Housing And Social Service Departments
  7. When Could The Breach Be Reported?
  8. Steps To Make A Claim Against Your Council
  9. How You Could Be Compensated
  10. Cannock Chase District Council Data Breach – Compensation Calculator
  11. Cannock Chase District Council Data Breach – No Win No Fee Cases
  12. Could A Solicitor Help You?
  13. Speak To Our Experts
  14. Related Data Protection Breach Claims
  15. What Questions Do Claimants Frequently Ask?

A Guide About Claims For Cannock Chase District Council Data Breaches

This guide aims to help you if you have a valid data breach claim. You will find that we have added a graph that shows the frequency of different kinds of data incidents in central government.

This is followed by a basic overview of why you might be able to claim for a local authority data breach. This section also defines the laws that apply in such a case, as well as the kinds of data that need to be protected.

Next, we move on to look at how the council has to be compliant with UK data protection laws, and how if it doesn’t it could put your personal data at risk. We support this hypothesis with a number of specific examples of how council data breaches could happen.

The next part of this guide moves on to cover the reporting, complaints and claims process for a council data breach. Additionally, we cover some of the financial considerations of making a claim.

You will see that we have added an example compensation table, which we support with a discussion of the reasons to claim damages in the first place. No Win No Fee agreements are covered, with an emphasis on how they work.

The final few sections of this guide give some general advice on finding a good data breach lawyer and starting a claim. Finally, we close this guide with some useful links, and also a basic FAQ section.

Time Limits To Claim

You will need to ensure that you begin a claim for a data breach within the applicable time limit. Furthermore, this time limit is going to be driven by the circumstances surrounding your claim. It could be:

  • Six years; or
  • One year if it involved a public body (such as a council)

You can call our claims team and explain your case to them. They will then advise on what time limit could be applicable.

How Commonly Do Data Breaches Happen?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) enforces UK data privacy legislation. The ICO is also responsible for acting on data breaches and maintaining a register of notifiable ones. Much of this data can be accessed by the public.

We used information from the ICO’s data security incident trends for the 1st quarter of 2021-2022 to make the graph below. It shows some common causes of non-cyber security data breaches in central government.

Data Breach Reasons

What Could A Cannock Chase District Council Data Breach Be?

You may be able to make a claim for a personal data breach if your data was exposed to unauthorised use or access. But you will need to prove that the local authority’s failings caused this and that you suffered mental harm or financial loss asa result.

What Are Claims For Cannock Chase District Council Data Breaches?

A personal data breach is a security incident that leads to the loss, alteration, destruction, access or disclosure of personal data. It can be accidental or deliberate.

The local authority is legally obliged to comply with all rules and regulations related to data privacy and security in the UK. If this is not done, your personal data could be put at risk. And if you can show that the council failed to keep your data secure due to positive wrongful conduct, a claim might be possible.

What Laws Apply?

The European Union (EU) follows the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR still applies in UK law somewhat through the Data Protection Act 2018. And this Act sits with the UK GDPR. The council should comply with all relevant UK data protection laws that apply to the way it stores and processes personal information about a data subject.

What Data Is Protected?

Not all data is covered by the UK GDPR. Specific types of data that, if exposed or used inappropriately, could cause you to some form of harm. Essentially, personal data is protected under the UK GDPR.

Personal data/information is information that could identify you. This can be alone or alongside other information.

  • Personal data can be your telephone number, name, address or financial information, for example.
  • Special category data is a type of personal data that needs more security because of its sensitivity. Essentially, it is data that reveals your: sexual orientation; sex life; health information; biometric data; genetic data; trade union membership; religious or philosophical beliefs; political opinions; racial or ethnic origin.

If you believe that your personal information has been exposed due to a local council’s failings, please call and talk to an advisor. Subsequently, they could help you to get a claim started.

In the next section, we look at what a Cannock Chase District Council data breach could look like.

How The UK GDPR Applies To District Councils

Just because a council is a government organisation does not free them from data protection legislation. The council must still follow all applicable rules that are intended to prevent personal data breaches.

Furthermore, the local authority should adhere to the seven principles of the UK GDPR. And these are:

  1. Limiting how much personal data is stored about you.
  2. Acting transparently, fairly and in a legal way.
  3. Limiting the amount of time that your personal data is stored.
  4. Keeping your personal data secure and private.
  5. Making sure to keep your personal data up to date and accurate.
  6. Being open about the way your personal data is used or processed.
  7. Taking responsibility for data processing actions and compliance with the other principles.

If the council fails to do these, and your data is put at risk because of this, you may wish to raise your concerns with the council.

Ways District Councils Could Breach Your Data Privacy

Your local council will store and process a fairly high volume of your personal data. A council data breach could be caused in ways such as:

  • An employee of the council accesses your personal information and then discusses it outside of work with a third party (without a lawful basis) whilst identifying you.
  • Printed personal data isn’t securely disposed of, meaning it’s easily stolen by someone who doesn’t have a lawful reason to do so.
  • An email that contains some of your personal data is sent to a person who doesn’t have a lawful basis to view it.
  • A cybersecurity vulnerability allows a cybercriminal to gain access to some or all of your personal data.

Each of these examples could potentially be the basis of a compensation claim. But only if you could prove the council was at fault in some way. Call our advisors for some help with this.

Data Protection In Housing And Social Service Departments

If you are a tenant of council housing, then the amount of information the council stores and processes about you could be added to every time you make a rent payment. Despite the fact it is the legal duty of the council to protect your personal data if it holds or processes it, mistakes can and do happen.

Data protection hazards can occur, such as:

  • A financial document, such as a rent statement, that identifies you is accessed by someone for an unlawful reason.
  • An employee of the council decides to share your information with a third party landlord but fails to redact your personal data.
  • Information identifying yourself or your family stored by social services is accessed by an employee that doesn’t have a lawful basis to see the data.
  • Technology issues, such as cyber security incidents, expose your personal data to access by a cybercriminal.

These are all good examples of incidents that could well become the basis of a data breach claim. But this can only happen if it can be proven that the council is liable. Call and ask our advisors about this, they can help you further.

When Could The Breach Be Reported?

If you think you might have become the victim of a council data breach, there are a couple of steps you can take before attempting a district council data breach claim. These steps are optional, but they could well be useful to undertake.

Firstly, you can contact the council about the data breach directly. You can ask if there has been a data breach, whether your data has been affected, and if so, how badly. In some cases, it may be a false alarm and your data may not have been exposed.

Secondly, you have the option of reporting the data breach to the ICO. You should only do this if the council hasn’t resolved the issue satisfactorily. You can alert the ICO to your concerns about the breach within 3 months of the council’s last meaningful response on the matter. Waiting longer than this can impact the ICO’s decisions.

However, the ICO can’t give you compensation. What’s more, it is not mandatory that you report the data breach to the ICO. But it could be beneficial because if the ICO takes action against the council, this lends your claim weight.

This guide on what you could do following a Cannock Chase District Council data breach aims to give information to help you. However, if you need free legal advice, why not call?

Steps To Make A Claim Against Your Council

Regardless of whether you have contacted the ICO and made a complaint about a potential council data breach, you can still try to claim. In short, it is your right to pursue damages for mental harm and financial loss caused by lax data protection at a council.

If you believe that you have suffered stress, trauma or other psychological harm due to a data breach, you may be able to claim. Similarly, you could be able to claim for any loss of money caused by a data breach.

  • Firstly, you should contact the council to see if you can resolve the situation.
  • If the situation isn’t resolved, you may wish to contact the ICO within 3 months of the council’s last meaningful response on the matter.
  • You could collect as much evidence of your financial loss, psychological suffering and of the data breach itself.
  • You could contact a solicitor or our advisors for free legal advice.

If you would like to learn more about the claims process, please call our advisors. An advisor will talk over your prospective case with you. They will then give you some advice on how to proceed.

How You Could Be Compensated

If you do have a valid claim for a council data breach, there are two possible types of damages.

Firstly, you could be compensated for mental harm the data breach causes or worsens, such as stress or trauma. This is known as non-material damage.

Secondly, you could be compensated for any monetary loss caused by the data breach. This is material damage.

Claiming For Mental Hardship

In 2015 at the Court of Appeal, the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. was heard. The claim was won, setting a precedent. Essentially, if you haven’t suffered financial loss because of a personal data breach, but have suffered psychological harm then, owing to this case, you could claim.

You could claim if you suffered financial loss because of a data breach or psychological harm (or both).

Dealing with a data breach can be a traumatising event. Consider having to replace all of your credit/debit cards, having your passport reissued, changing back accounts, and more.

To prove non-material damage, you would attend a medical assessment. An independent medical professional would assess your injuries and create a report. The report can show:

  • That your injuries were caused or worsened by the data breach.
  • How severe your injuries are.

If the report doesn’t find a link between the data breach and your injuries, you could find that it’s difficult to claim for non-material damage.

A solicitor can also use the report to help value your injuries.

Claiming For Monetary Loss

There are a number of ways you could lose money due to a data breach. Firstly, a cybercriminal might access your finances and cards to spend money. Secondly, you may need to cover certain costs of making a claim.

For example, if your bank details were accessed and used to steal money from your account and you weren’t able to recover it, you could use bank statements as proof of your losses. A successful material damage claim could see you recouping these losses.

Cannock Chase District Council Data Breach – Compensation Calculator

The compensation table below will help you to get a rough idea of how much compensation you might get for a successful data breach claim. The figures in this table are based on guidelines produced by the Judicial College. These guidelines contain recommended amounts for varying injuries and their severities. They’re used by legal professionals to value injuries.

Edit
Severity Health Problem Possible Damages More Information
Less severe Psychiatric Damage Up to £5,500 Compensation for the less severe category would be determined by factors such as how everyday activities were affected as well as sleep.
Severe Psychiatric Damage £51,460 – £108,620 Those who suffer severe psychological effects would find work, life and education difficult and the prognosis would be very poor.
Moderate Psychiatric Damage £5,500 – £17,900 Those with moderate symptoms would suffer as above but there would be a clear improvement by trial.
Moderately severe Psychiatric Damage £17,900 – £51,460 Those who suffer moderately severe symptoms would have a better prognosis than those in the severe category.

If you can’t see your injuries in the table above, why not use our compensation calculator for an estimate of what you could claim? Alternatively, contact our advisors directly for a free estimate.

Cannock Chase District Council Data Breach – No Win No Fee Cases

Do you know what a No WIn No Fee agreement is? Perhaps you have seen the phrase in an advertisement, and have a general idea of what it means. You may know that you can make No Win No Fee personal injury claims. However, you might not realise you can also make a personal data breach claim under such an agreement.

You don’t pay any lawyer fees until your claim is won. This means there’ll be no lawyer’s fee to start your claim, or during the claim. And if the claim is lost, then your lawyer won’t expect to receive their fee.

In the case of a successful claim, you would pay a success fee to the lawyer, which is capped by law. This can be deducted from the compensation payment.

Could A Solicitor Help You?

If you need to find a good solicitor to handle a personal data breach claim for you, then we have you covered. Our solicitors have experience, professionalism and offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis.

Solicitors can:

  • Negotiate with the other side on your behalf
  • Cut through the legal jargon for you
  • Value your claim accurately
  • Represent you in court (in the unlikely event that the claim isn’t settled before this)

For more information, get in touch with our advisors today.

Speak To Our Experts

Do you need some more information about making a claim for a possible data breach? Then we can help. Talk to an advisor using the contact information below to get all the free legal advice you need.

Our advisors can talk through your claim with you and let you know if it is valid or not. If it is strong, they can connect you with our lawyers to start working on your claim for you. It is likely this can be done under a No Win No Fee agreement as well.

So why not get in touch? Our advisors are here for you 24/7 and won’t put you under any obligation to proceed with the services of our lawyers.

Related Data Protection Breach Claims

The following links will take you to other guides with useful information.

Additionally, these other websites have some great information.

What Questions Do Claimants Frequently Ask?

Here are some answers to common questions related to data protection.

What is the UK GDPR?

The UK GDPR is a group of regulations that apply to data privacy and security in the UK.

What is the Data Protection Act?

The Data Protection Act 2018 is a law that deals with data privacy and security in the UK, sitting beside UK GDPR.

How has the UK’s exit from the EU affected GDPR?

The UK’s exit from the EU hasn’t affected GDPR here too much because it is retained in UK law via the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR. However, now the UK can keep the framework of the UK GDPR under review.

Thank you for reading our guide on what you could do following a Cannock Chase District Council data breach.

Written by Wheeler

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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