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Cardiff Metropolitan University Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Cardiff Metropolitan University Data Breach

There are various organisations such as healthcare providers, local councils, private businesses and educational establishments that process and store your personal data. All of these organisations have legal obligations to protect your personal data, but sometimes if things go wrong you could end up suffering. That’s why we created this guide on data breach compensation claims against Cardiff Metropolitan University. If any organisation breach has caused you psychological or financial harm, these laws could allow you to seek compensation.     

Cardiff Metropolitan University data breach claims guide

Data breach claims against Cardiff Metropolitan University claims guide

Data breaches can relate to hacking, a DDoS attack, phishing, a virus or simply employee error. If someone breaches data protection laws and this causes you harm, you could potentially make a claim, and we could help you.

This guide explains all you may need to know about the obligations that educational establishments have towards the security of your personal data. We also offer some insight into how data breaches could occur. And, we look at how much compensation you could claim for a data breach that has caused you emotional distress or financial harm. If you’d like to ask us anything about this guide that explores what may be meant by data breach claims against Cardiff Metropolitan University, you can call our expert team at any time on 0800 073 8804.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against Cardiff Metropolitan University

Data breaches in higher education establishments could cause a lot of problems for the victims of the data breach as well as the university itself. If a university data breach in the UK comes to the attention of the Information Commissioner’s Office, the ICO could investigate. If they find that the university has breached data protection laws, they could take enforcement actions against the university. This could include hefty fines.

Educational establishments have a legal duty to protect the personal data of anyone whose data they store or process. GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 allow anyone harmed by a data breach to seek compensation from the organisation responsible

This guide has been created to help those who want to understand the possibilities surrounding a potential Cardiff Metropolitan University data breach. In it, we answer questions about the GDPR rules universities must follow. We also look at how a breach could occur and what harm it could cause. We discuss how compensation could be calculated. And, we explore how we could help you maximise your payout by providing a solicitor who could fight for the maximum compensation possible for your claim.

What Are University Data Protection Breaches?

Educational establishments, just like other organisations, process and store personal data. Therefore, they are data controllers. They have an obligation to data subjects (such as students or staff) to protect the security of their data. While many universities attempt to ensure they process and store data securely, sometimes things happen that lead to a data breach. If a data breach has occurred, whether maliciously or by accident, it could have unpleasant consequences for the victims. And it could lead to them seeking compensation for the harm they’ve suffered.

What Does A Data Breach Involve?

According to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), a data breach could involve any of the below unlawful or accidental actions:

  • Destruction of data
  • Loss of data
  • Alteration of data
  • Access to data
  • Transmission of data
  • Disclosure of data

Examples of how data could be exposed could include:

  • An unauthorised third party gaining access to your data – a university could be hacked, for example.
  • Accidental or deliberate inaction or action by a processor/controller.
  • Sending data to the wrong recipient – this could be accidental or deliberate.
  • Loss or theft of a computer device containing data.
  • Loss of availability of data – through a Distributed Denial of Service attack, for example. 

Potential Consequences Of A Data Breach

It may depend on what information has been accessed and who by which may determine how you will be affected. Below we have included some of the consequences of a data breach;

  • Loss of privacy.
  • Loss of educational material – loss of research data could affect your studies.
  • Theft – someone could access your bank accounts or make payments or purchases fraudulently.
  • Identity theft – someone could assume your identity, which could allow them to apply for financial products in your name.
  • Sold data – someone could sell your personal data to a third party.
  • Emotional distress – you could lose out on sleep, or suffer depression, anxiety or stress.

Making a claim for compensation for a breach may help to redress the financial harm caused by it. And you could also claim compensation for the effects the breach has had on your mental health. For answers to questions about a Cardiff Metropolitan, data breach call our advisors today.

Do Universities Have To Follow GDPR Rules?

In 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was brought into force. It could be the toughest privacy and data security law in the world. Anyone who stores or processes data relating to EU data subjects, including universities, must abide by its principles, which are:

  1. Transparency, lawfulness and fairness
  2. Limitation of purpose
  3. Minimisation of data
  4. Accuracy
  5. Limitation of storage
  6. Confidentiality/integrity
  7. Accountability

If a university does not comply with these principles, the university could face action from the Information Commissioner’s Office. The ICO enforces GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 in the UK. A university could also face action from victims of a data breach seeking compensation for the harm they’ve suffered.

Example Of Breaches In Data Protection By Universities

In this section, we shall look at how different universities have been affected by data breaches. We look at two incidences in particular; 

The Blackbaud Data Hack

A database company named Blackbaud, which holds data relating to UK universities, was subjected to a ransomware attack in May 2020. The attackers accessed the names, addresses, dates of birth, genders and contact details. Blackbaud paid the ransom and the attackers destroyed the data. 

The universities affected at first included: 

  • University of Exeter
  • University College, Oxford
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • University of Reading
  • University of London
  • Loughborough University
  • University of York
  • University of Leeds

Blackbaud later discovered that the attackers had taken data from other universities and organisations they worked with. 


The Greenwich University Incident

The ICO has also reported that in 2018, it fined Greenwich University £120,000 for a breach of the personal data of nearly 20,000 people. A student created a microsite in 2004 for a training conference. It wasn’t closed down and was not secured from attackers. In 2016, attackers used the site to access details of people’s names, addresses and telephone numbers. They also found some sickness records and other sensitive information.

The decision to fine the university came after the ICO found that appropriate organisational and technical measures were not in place. 

Statistics On Universities Affected By Data Breaches

There are a few interesting statistics relating to data security that have come to light from a survey of 86 universities. They are:

  • Over half of the UK universities (54%) have made reports to the ICO regarding data breaches in 2019/20.
  • 46% of staff employed by the universities in the survey had not received awareness training.
  • Just 51% of universities provided training on security matters to students.
  • 50 universities in the UK were breached in under 2 hours in tests by internet services provider Jisc in 2019.

Students, alumni and staff of universities should expect their personal data to be protected under the data protection laws. However, these statistics reveal that there may be a need for individual universities to strengthen their data breach policies.


Criminal Cybersecurity Breaches And Attacks

What could cause a potential Cardiff Metropolitan University data breach? You may be wondering what types of breaches universities could face. They could include:

  • Stolen information – whether this is due to an insider threat or from an outside threat, stolen information could be valuable in the wrong hands.
  • A ransomware attack – a university could be subjected to a hack, and the perpetrator could demand a ransom for the return of the hacked data.
  • A password attack/password guessing – someone attempts to gain access to computer systems by attacking/guessing passwords of authorised users.
  • Keystroke recording – a university admission hack could put a keystroke recorder on the system that records user names and passwords.
  • Phishing – users are directed to legitimate-looking websites and enter their details into what turns out to be a fake site that records their password and username.
  • A malware attack – this could put a virus or destructive code onto a system.
  • DDoS – A Distributed Denial of Service attack could make it impossible for a company’s systems to be used.

If you find that you have questions, contact our team.

What Types Of Compensation Could I Receive?

The compensation you would receive for a data breach would vary depending on the damage it caused you. While you may assume you could claim for financial expenses caused by the breach, you might be a little surprised to learn that you could also claim for loss of privacy and personal injury. Under GDPR, if a data breach has caused you non-material or material damage, you could claim for this. Material damage relates to the financial impact of a breach. Non-material damage relates to psychological types of damage, including emotional distress.

Can I Really Claim For Emotional Distress Caused By A Data Breach?

If you could prove that a data breach had caused you psychological harm, you could claim for it. This is because a legal precedent was set at the Court of Appeal, in a case known as Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015]. The judge said that damages for personal injury caused by a data breach could be considered.

This now means that it could be possible for a claimant who had suffered anxiety, distress, or depression as a direct consequence of a data breach to claim compensation for such damage.

University Data Breach Claims Calculator

Calculating a data breach claim could involve assessing both the actual and potential financial expenses caused by the breach. It could also involve calculating compensation for the psychological harm caused by the breach. This would involve the claimant visiting an independent medical expert. The expert would examine the claimant, ask them some questions and possibly review their medical notes. They’d then compile a report that could be used to evidence the injury.

This report could help the courts and solicitors come to an appropriate settlement for the injured party. In order to give you some insight into what compensation could be applicable for various levels of psychological damage, we have produced a table. It shows what the Judicial College Guidelines deem as parameters for such injuries. (The JCG is a publication solicitors may use to value claims.) The following could give you some useful insight into compensation payouts.

Psychological Injury Approx Compensation Level Notes
Psychiatric injury £51,460 to £108,620 Severe – significantly affecting the affected person’s ability to cope with education, work and life in general including relationships. If treatment had been sought its impact would be assessed.
Psychiatric injury £17,900 to £51,460 Moderately severe – similar impacts as the severe cases but with a better prognosis.
Psychiatric injury £5,500 to £17,900 Moderate – effects similar to above but improvements would have been made by trial and the prognosis would be good.
Psychiatric injury £1,440 to £5,500 Sleep impact and the impact on daily activities would be analysed. Severity and length of suffering would also be assessed.
PTSD £56,180 to £94,470 Severe – each part of the person’s life could be impacted permanently.
PTSD £21,730 to £56,180 Moderately severe – treatment may have had some benefit but there would be continuing significant disabilities.
PTSD £7,680 to £21,730 Moderate – there would be no gross continuing disabilities and a good recovery would have been effected by the injured party.
PTSD £3,710 to £7,680 Less severe – where an injured party would have almost fully recovered between one and two years post trauma.

Choosing A Lawyer Who Handles Data Breach Cases

Now that you have finished this guide on data breach claims against Cardiff Metropolitan University. You may be wondering what your next steps could be. If you think your case has merit you may be looking into finding a data breach solicitor to help you pursue your case. 

We would advise you to keep in mind that you have certain time limits when it comes to taking legal action against a university for a data breach. Usually, you have 6 years for a data breach and 1 year for a human rights breach. 

Why Get Help?

You may, like many claimants, prefer to use a solicitor when it comes to making such claims. There are benefits you could take advantage of by doing so, and these include:

  • Knowing the legal legwork was taken care of by a legally trained professional.
  • Being able to leave the work of proving your claim and negotiating compensation to your lawyer.
  • Knowing your lawyer should have the capability of making sure you could claim for everything you’re eligible for.
  • Knowing your lawyer would be fighting for the maximum payout possible for your case.

Finding The Right Solicitor

You might be confused as to who to turn to for assistance. You could look at online reviews or ask your friends and family for recommendations. Or you could make things really simple and call Legal Expert’s advisors for assistance.

We have a great track record when it comes to helping claimants get the compensation they deserve. Our solicitors work on No Win No Fee terms, so you’d only pay their legal fees if your case resulted in compensation. We can even offer you a free eligibility check on your case to let you know if we’d be able to help you. And, if you’d like to read our reviews, we’re sure you’ll be confident you’ve made the right choice.

You may want to get more information on what constitutes a Cardiff Metropolitan University data breach. If so, call us on the number at the top of the page.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Cardiff Metropolitan University

Making a claim for a data breach doesn’t have to mean paying your lawyer upfront. No Win No Fee agreements allow you to make such claims without needing to pay any legal fees to your solicitor until your payout has been arranged. Better still, you would only pay your solicitor’s legal fees if you win your case.

No Win No Fee claims work as follows:

  • Your solicitor would send you a document known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. That would detail the success fee you’d pay them once they’d achieved a successful outcome for your case. The fee is a small percentage and is legally capped.
  • Once the solicitor receives the agreement, they’d begin to build your case and negotiate compensation for you.
  • In the event that your case is successful, the fee we mentioned would be deducted.
  • If your case loses, you would not have to cover your solicitor’s success fee.

If you’d like to learn more about making such claims, you can read our detailed guide here. Alternatively, if you’d like to call and ask us any questions about No Win No Fee claims, we’d be happy to help you.

Have Your Case Assessed

If you’d like to talk to us about anything you’ve picked up on in this guide to data breach claims against Cardiff Metropolitan University, we’d be happy to do so free of charge. We could also answer any questions you have about making a data breach claim. Lastly, if you’re ready to claim, we could provide you with a Legal Expert solicitor to help you. You can get in touch in any of the following ways:

Where Do I Learn More?

Lost Personal Data – Can I Claim? – Find out whether you could be eligible for compensation for lost personal data here.

Data Breach By An Employer – Find out whether you could make a data breach claim if your employer has breached your data rights.

Housing Association Data BreachesYou can read about how to make a data breach claim if a housing association has breached your personal data rights.

GDPR Information For Organisations – Data protection information for organisations that store and process data can be found here.

Making A ComplaintThe ICO offers some guidance on making a complaint if you believe your personal data rights have been breached.

Decisions And Actions – The ICO’s website shows what decisions and actions they’ve taken when they have been asked to investigate reports of data breaches.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Written by Jeffries

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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