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

As you may imagine, universities have to keep personal information about students to help manage their education. However, they could hold personal details about their staff, alumni, supporters and fundraisers too. There could be a lot of value in that information, especially for cybercriminals so it is important that the university stores data safely. In this article, we are going to look at if you may be able to claim for a university data breach. This guide about data breach claims against Cardiff University should provide you with some useful information. We will consider what causes data breaches to happen, what problems they can create and why you might be entitled to seek data breach compensation.                 

Cardiff University data breach claims guide

Cardiff University data breach claims guide

In recent years, the rules surrounding personal information have changed somewhat with the introduction of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These pieces of legislation now mean that a data breach involving personal data could result in the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fining the organisation. Additionally, if a university data breach led you to suffer, you could claim compensation.

If that’s the road you want to go down, our team can help. We provide an assessment of any claim without any obligation for you to proceed with our services and free legal advice. Should your case appear to be viable, an advisor could refer it to a specialist solicitor. If your claim is accepted, our solicitors will conduct the case on a No Win No Fee basis.

For more details on how we could help you start a claim, please contact our team on 0800 073 8804. If you would like information on data breach claims against Cardiff University before calling, please continue reading.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against Cardiff University

You may think of data breaches as being linked to computer security issues such as phishing emails, denial of service attacks, malware, ransomware or password attacks. In fact, the GDPR covers incidents like these as well as data breaches that relate to physical documents. As an example, a company that stores customer records in unlocked containers risks unauthorised people accessing the data. If an unauthorised person does access the physical records, the company would be responsible for a data breach. 

On top of the need to secure any personal information they hold, an organisation also needs to tell you:

Generally, they need to get your permission before they use it. However, there are instances where they won’t need your consent to use your data. Once you’ve provided your data sharing preferences, the organisation should abide by them. If someone leaks your information as part of a data breach, you could seek compensation for the harm it causes you.

Due to the statute of limitations, there is a 6-year time limit for you to make most data breach claims. However, some cases involving a breach of your human rights are limited to just 1 year. Because data breach solicitors often find it easier to obtain substantiating evidence the sooner they begin, we often advise clients to start their case as soon as possible. This should also make it easier for you to remember the effects of the data breach.

A potential Cardiff University data breach could happen for a variety of reasons. Why not let one of our advisors answer any questions you may have. 

What Is A University Data Breach?

We did say earlier that data breaches can involve information organisations electronically store as well as data they store on paper. One of the biggest data breaches involving universities in recent years involved a software provider, Blackbaud, becoming the victim of a ransomware cyberattack. Therefore, we will consider the Blackbaud hack in more detail later on.

The GDPR defines personal data breaches as a security flaw that leads to personally identifiable data being lost, disclosed, altered, destroyed or accessed by unauthorised personal. The ICO doesn’t just investigate deliberate or illegal data breaches, they can also step in for accidental breaches.

When a company or organisation discovers a data breach, they need to tell anybody who might be at risk. They need to explain:

  • When the breach took place.
  • How it happened.
  • What personal information was exposed.

Additionally, they need to keep the ICO informed at all stages of their investigation. If you would like us to support you in your understanding of what a university data breach could potentially involve, please pick up the phone and call our team today.

How Universities Need To Adapt To The GDPR

The GDPR is a vast document full of information on what organisations must do to keep personal data secure. Within its pages, you will find useful definitions including:

  • Data Subject – the person who is going to have their information processed.
  • A data controller – the company, or similar organisation, that needs to explain why they need your data and how they will process it.
  • The data processor – in some cases the data controller might hire another organisation to process the data on their behalf.

Additionally, the GDPR explains some key principles relating to data processing that data controllers must be able to show compliance with. They must:

  • Conduct any processing legally, fairly and transparently.
  • Complete processing in a secure and confidential manner.
  • Record the absolute minimum amount of information.
  • Keep data of a personal nature up to date.
  • Not keep the data for any longer than is necessary.

The definition of personal information is any type of data which might mean it is possible to identify the data subject. The type of information we mean are things like ID numbers, telephone numbers, names, addresses or email addresses. In addition, some data may be sensitive, such as information about some protected characteristics like disability, ethnicity, age and marital status.

To find out about what could potentially cause a Cardiff University data breach, speak to our advisors. 

Which Universities Were Impacted By Data Breaches?

In this section, we are going to show some case studies of where a data breach has occurred involving a university.

Data breach 1: The ICO issued the University of Greenwich a £120,000 fine following a data breach that exposed the personal information of about 19,500 people.

In 2004, one of the university’s students created a website to support a training conference. The data in question was uploaded to that website. However, when the event ended, nobody secured the website or removed the data.

In 2016 several hackers exploited the vulnerability. The personal information that was accessed included names, telephone numbers and addresses of students and staff as well as some more sensitive information such as learning difficulties in some cases.


Data Breach 2: Blackbaud, a software company providing database management systems to the higher education sector realised its servers had become the victim of a ransomware attack. Initially, the company said that they’d just accessed contact information but, later on, added that they may have had payment information, as well as passwords.

The breach affected several UK universities, trusts and charities that had to contact students, supporters and fundraisers.

Blackbaud paid the ransom and the hackers advised them that they had destroyed the data.


What Percentage Of Universities Have Had A Data Breach?

A recent study provides information about data security in universities. The study which includes responses from 86 UK universities found that:

  • Over half (54%) had been in contact with the ICO to report data breaches in the last 12-months.
  • 27% of respondents had never hired an external security firm to test for security flaws.
  • The average budget, per university, for staff awareness training, was just £7,529 a year.


Preventing Criminal Cyber Attacks

While we are not cybersecurity experts, we do understand that there are some actions that a university could take to try and prevent cyberattacks. They include:

  • Keeping software, firmware and hardware up to date.
  • Using encrypted data devices so that if someone steals or loses them, nobody can read the data.
  • Training all students and staff on their data security obligations.
  • Regularly reviewing data protection and security policies.
  • Engaging the services of penetration testing companies to help spot any weaknesses in both physical and computer network security.

As you can imagine, some of these actions might be costly but they could also prevent the harm a personal data breach can cause. Furthermore, they could stop the university from having to pay an ICO fine.

To discuss anything related to this guide get in touch today.

How Much Compensation Might Be Awarded To You?

The way in which compensation claims are calculated means that no two cases are the same. Therefore, it is difficult to explain what amount you could receive until you get your claim assessed properly. However, in this section and the next, we will look at what you can include in your claim and we will provide some example compensation amounts for different injuries.

In data breach claims, you could claim for financial losses (material damages) that the breach caused. You could also claim psychological injuries (non-material damages) that the breach made you suffer. 

It is important to consider any long-term effects of the breach as well because you can only make a single compensation claim. For example, if you are looking to claim for the money you have already lost, the solicitor will usually assess whether you will suffer any further losses. For instance, if a cybercriminal’s actions have damaged your credit file, your solicitor might look at the increased costs that you might incur when taking out mortgages or loans in the future.

Similarly, if you have endured Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression or anxiety, a medical specialist will review whether your symptoms will continue in the future. If they are likely to, solicitors could look at what damage that might cause to your relationships or your ability to continue working.

The process of getting a claim right can be tricky and complex as you can see. That’s one of the main reasons we advise you to have legal help on your side. If one of our data breach solicitors accepts your case, they will work with you to thoroughly assess all aspects of your claim. So, feel free to call any time if you would like to begin a claim.

Compensation Calculator – Data Breach Claims Against Cardiff University

The court of appeal heard an important data breach claim a few years ago which set the precedent on how compensation could be awarded. The judgement made in the Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] case now means that it is possible for you to be compensated for psychiatric injuries even if you have not suffered financially. Moreover, the judgment led to the decision that non-material compensation awards should match those in personal injury claims.

Therefore, we have added the table below that shows some example compensation figures for relevant injuries. We took the information from the Judicial College Guidelines which insurers, legal professionals and courts often use to help work out settlement amounts.

Type of ClaimExplanationCompensation Range
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Severe)Injuries which result in permanent symptoms where a return to work or pre-trauma functioning levels is not possible.£56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Moderately Severe)A similar initial level of suffering to above but where a better prognosis will be offered because professional help should aid the victim's recovery.£21,730 to £56,180
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Moderate)Minor symptoms may persist but mostly the victim will have fully recovered.£7,680 to £21,730
Psychiatric Injury (Severe)The victim will struggle to cope with work and life in general, they won't be able to manage relationships, treatment is unlikely to prove useful and there will be a very poor prognosis.£51,460 to £108,620
Pyschiatric Injury (Moderately severe)Significant problems (similar to above) will persist for the foreseeable future but a more optimistic prognosis will be given.£17,900 to £51,460

The amount of compensation that you could receive on a number of factors, one being how severe your injuries are. That’s the reason why, during your claim, you should attend a medical assessment held locally to you. During the appointment, the health professional will ascertain how the breach affected your mental wellbeing by asking questions and reviewing the medical records they have available.

After the assessment, the specialist will write down their findings in a report which they send to your solicitor.

How Could A Data Breach Solicitor Help You?

If you have come to the conclusion that you would like to start a claim, you might want to concentrate on finding a solicitor to help you. While some claimants ask for recommendations, read online reviews or look for local solicitors’ firms to help them, we think we can make it easier for you.

All you have to do is pick up the phone and call Legal Expert. We offer free advice whether you go on to make a claim or not. Our advisors can assess your case without obligation for you to proceed with our services. And they can refer you to one of our data breach solicitors if your claim is strong enough. If the solicitor accepts your case, they will be available throughout it to answer any questions you come up with. You’ll receive regular updates, and you will have complex legal terms explained if needed. The main aim of your solicitor will be to try and ensure any compensation you receive is at the correct level.

Please get in touch with our team if you would like them to review your claim for free today. if you have any questions relating to this guide to data breach claims against Cardiff University. Our advisors are available to take your call any time of the day or night. 

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Cardiff University

You’ve probably heard of No Win No Fee services, but how do they work? No Win No Fee agreements are there to help fund the services of a solicitor.

The first thing that will happen before a solicitor accepts a claim is that they will review what’s happened and how it’s affected you. If our solicitors are happy to take the claim forward, they’ll offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a contract between you both that will explain what the solicitor will do for you. Within the CFA you will also notice that:

  • Your solicitor won’t require upfront payments before the claim starts.
  • You won’t have to pay any solicitor’s fees or hidden charges while the claim progresses.
  • If your claim doesn’t work out, the solicitor will not charge you their normal fees.

In claims where you receive compensation, the solicitor will retain a percentage to cover their costs and work. This is called a success fee and yours will be listed in the CFA. That’s so you can understand what percentage you will pay right from the start of your claim. Importantly, the law keeps success fees capped.

One of our advisors can let you know if you’ll be able to use our No Win No Fee service once they’ve assessed your claim, so please get in touch today.

Get Your Case Assessed

We hope you have found our article on data breach claims against Cardiff University useful. We’d be happy to help you start a claim. To do so, you can contact us by:

Our aim is to keep the process of claiming as simple as possible. When you call us, an advisor will listen to everything that you’ve experienced. They will also consider any evidence you are able to supply. If the claim has strong enough grounds, they could refer you to a specialist data breach solicitor. Should they agree to work on your case, they will do so on a No Win No Fee basis.

What Else Do I Need To Know?

We would like to thank you for taking the time to read our article on data breach claims against Cardiff University. Below you will find some additional links to resources that could help you with your claim. Also, we’ve listed some more of our guides relating to other types of claims that we could help you make in future. If there is any extra information you need regarding your data breach claim, please request it from an advisor today.

ICO Complaints Process – Details on how you can complain about a data breach to the ICO.

Mood Self-Assessment – An NHS tool to help you identify if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression.

Supermarket Accident Claims – Details on how we could help you claim if you suffer an injury in a supermarket.

Using No Win No Fee Services – A more comprehensive look at how No Win No Fee services work.

Delayed Whiplash Claims – Advice on how you could claim if you suffer a delayed whiplash reaction.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Written by Hambridge

Edited by Victorine

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