Chelmsford Council Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Chelmsford Council Data Breach
Your local council most likely holds at least some forms of your personal information. This brings with it certain responsibilities for keeping this information secure and private. You may be wondering how a data breach by Chelmsford Council could occur? This guide looks at explaining the different types of data breaches and who may be responsible if certain responsibilities aren’t met. This page is a guide on what you can do if you are affected by a data breach.
A data breach could occur if a council has been lax in its security, or has deliberately ignored the data protection regulations set out in law. It could result in you suffering a variety of consequences depending on whether your data has been accessed, what kind of data it was, who has accessed it, and what they use it for.
You could be subject to theft or harassment depending on what type of data breach has occurred. At the very least the experience could cause you severe distress with potential long-term impacts on your mental health. This could entitle you to claim compensation. To find out if you could claim compensation, read through the rest of this page, and use the following contact information to reach one of our advisors for further information.
Select A Section
- A Guide On Claims For A Data Breach By Chelmsford Council
- Statistics On Rates Of Data Security Breaches
- What Could Be A Data Breach By Chelmsford Council?
- Are Councils Exempt From GDPR?
- What Types Of GDPR Data Breaches By Councils Could Occur?
- Claim For A Data Breach Over Rent Statements
- When And How To Report A Data Breach With The ICO
- Steps To Take When Your Data Privacy Is Breached
- What Types Of Damages Could Be Awarded?
- Have You Suffered A Data Breach By Chelmsford Council? – How To Calculate Settlements
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Data Breach By Chelmsford Council
- Choosing The Right Person To Handle Your Case
- Speak To Our Team
- Articles Related To Council Data Breaches
- Frequently Asked Questions
Any organisation holding on to your personal information and data has an obligation to keep that data held securely. If these obligations are not met and the security and privacy of your personal information are breached you may be wondering does this entitle you to claim compensation?
The following information will outline what local council data security responsibilities are. It will also discuss what breaches are, how and when they could occur, and what their potential effects could be.
You may find that you are eligible to make a claim for compensation. This guide will explain what compensation claims are, how they work, and when you could be entitled to make one. It will outline what kind and amount of compensation you could be entitled to claim. If at any point you wish to seek further information you can reach one of our experts using the contact information provided. Having a data breach solicitor represent your case is totally your choice. But it is important to consider the knowledge and experience needed for a case like this. Data breach solicitors will have been trained on how to successfully file a data breach claim.
Statistics On Rates Of Data Security Breaches
Nearly 40% of businesses and more than a quarter of charities have reported cyber-attacks and attempted data breaches in the last 12 months according to the 2021 cyber-security breaches survey. These attempts at breaches are more common among medium to larger businesses and larger-income charities.
The most recent numbers show that in fact, the number of reported breaches or attempted cyber-attacks went down slightly for businesses. However, stayed the same for charities. This coincides with the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns. It is suggested that this downturn could be a result of decreased business activity providing fewer opportunities for fraud and cyber-crime. However, it should also be noted that the amount of businesses and charities carrying out the proper methods for detecting potential breaches has also declined during the lockdown.
In 2018 The Data Protection Act 2018 enacted the General Data Protection Regulation GDPR within its legislation. The General Data Protection Regulation was introduced by the EU so that data subjects have much more control over how their personal information was handled. As we have now left the rulings of the EU we incorporated these laws within the Data Protection Act 2018. Now those who collect personal data have much more responsibility to keep it secure.
There are certain conditions that need to be met when a party collects and holds people’s personal information. Failure to meet these conditions could leave local residents in the council’s constituency open to access and misuse by unauthorised parties. Situations that could be classed as data breaches could include:
- Successful cyber-attacks due to insufficient cyber-security
- Sharing of data with other parties without a legal basis
- Use of personal information for unauthorised purposes
- Leaving filing cabinets unlocked so that personal information can be accessed
- Throwing personal data away instead of disposing of it correctly.
If you think that any of these scenarios might have occurred, then you can contact us to find out if you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.
Local councils are obliged to follow the regulations laid out in the UK General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The UK-GDPR is a set of regulations that apply to those processing personal data. This presence in UK law is established by the Data Protection Act 2018. It is unlawful for data controllers to not meet these regulations. The sharing of information must have a lawful basis. There 6 lawful bases. One is consent. However even if you do not consent, your personal information can be shared if the reason for doing so meets another lawful basis.
A local council is required to hand information over to the authorities for the purposes of an investigation. In this situation, it would meet one of the 6 lawful bases.
What are the lawful bases?
- Consent – you give your consent
- Contract – for a contract the processing is necessary
- Legal obligation – complying with the law
- Vital interests – protecting an individual
- Public task – for the interest of the public
- Legitimate interests – for your legitimate reasons the process is necessary,
There are a variety of different types of potential personal data security breaches could occur concerning the personal information held by a local council. The different iterations of a potential data breach scenario cannot all be listed here. However, the following is nonetheless a list of potential examples of data breaches.
- Personal information being sent to the wrong address
- Employees of the local council accessing personal information records for their own purposes
- Falling victim to a cyber-attack due to insufficient cybersecurity
- Neighbour relationships being damaged due to personal information in complaints to the council being leaked
- Family relationships being affected by the leaking of adoption records or social services information
- Information about local planning applications objections
- Council staff personal information is accessed without authorisation.
Local councils often oversee social housing. This means that local councils will hold information such as:
- Rent statements
- Copies of passports
- Information covering in background checks to tenancy applications
- Information from financial background checks, such as credit score ratings and wage slips
- Copies of personal identification documents such as passports.
- Personal information on tenants, such as medical records and criminal histories.
- Records of complaints made by tenants.
This is all data that should be kept securely and deleted if no longer needed. If you have had information concerning your social housing tenancy breached why not call our advisors to have your case assessed.
If you have been the victim of a data breach and you believe that your local council was responsible, an option could be to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office. (ICO). This is the organisation that acts as the regulator for data protection. If you make a complaint to the ICO they can conduct an investigation to determine whether or not the council is responsible for the breach. The ICO has the authority to impose fines on data controllers it finds responsible for data breaches.
It is recommended that you contact your council over the breach first before making an ICO complaint. This will serve at least to prove that you have given a council the opportunity to try to put things right. You can then go to the ICO to take things further. Be sure to make your complaint to the ICO within three months or less of your last communication with a council, as the ICO will probably not take up the complaint if more than this time has passed.
If you have been informed, or if you suspect that you have been the victim of a breach of your personal information, you can begin by making a complaint to the local council. Reporting the issue to a council allows them to potentially explain what has happened and take measures to put things right, as stated in the previous section.
If you have made a complaint to the council and have received no reply, or have not received a satisfactory reply, you can then make a complaint to the ICO for them to investigate. By this point, however, you may already potentially have the right to make a compensation claim. You could begin the first steps towards making a claim by contacting our Legal Expert team. You could also approach our team if you would like any advice because you are unsure about what to do next.
You could be awarded damages for both the financial and mental and emotional effects of the data breach. These are known as material and non-material losses. Material losses could be inflicted through fraud or theft carried out by someone who has accessed your personal banking or credit card details. Money lost through theft or fraud, and loss of earnings from taking time off work due to stress can be claimed back in material losses.
In addition to financial losses, you could also be emotionally or psychologically affected by a data breach. A breach of your personal data causes as much risk of theft and as much harm to your privacy as a physical burglary of your home. Therefore the emotional and psychological harm can be significant. You could be subject to fear, anxiety, and stress. If the experience has been particularly bad you could even be diagnosed (and compensated for) the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In order to calculate compensation as well as claim it, there has to be solid proof of the damages you have experienced. The proof allows a specific figure to be claimed. And also supports your claim. Compensation can be awarded for past losses as well as expected losses.
For material damages (such as financial losses) you can provide evidence in a number of formats to support your claim. These could include:
- Wage slips
- Bank statements
In order to claim for non-material damages, you could support your claim with an assessment by a psychotherapist diagnosing any mental health problems or symptoms of serious emotional distress you might be suffering from. Once you have this supporting evidence, the value will be calculated. The Judicial College guidelines JCG that have listed past injury values could be used to help calculate the suffering caused.
This table is a compensation calculator table that displays the values of different types and degrees of mental health harm taken from the JCG.
|Severe psychiactric damage||£51,460 to £108,620|
|Moderately severe Psychiatric damage||£17,900 to £51,460|
|Moderate psychiatric damage||£5,500 to £17,900|
|Less severe||£1,440 to £5,500|
If you have experienced stress and financial losses from the data breach you might have concerns that a data breach compensation claim could make things worse. By opting for a data breach solicitor that operates on a No Win No Fee basis your concerns could be drastically lowered.
You should look to make a claim in a way that does not add further to your stress and money worries. That’s why we recommend working with a No Win No Fee solicitor. A No Win No Fee solicitor is a solicitor who receives payment through a “success fee” drawn from the compensation the claimant receives for a successful claim. As well as ensuring that the claimant does not have to pay up-front costs to their lawyer. It also means that the claimant will not be liable for legal fees to the lawyer in the event of an unsuccessful claim.
You can contact us if you would like to work with a No Win No Fee data protection lawyer. You can also get in touch with our team if you have questions to ask about how No Win No Fee agreements work in more detail.
The right lawyer is someone who has experience dealing with data breach situations like yours. Someone who is qualified in the types of laws concerning your case. A lawyer with a proven track record of winning cases and winning the right amounts of compensation.
You can find out how we can set you up with the right kind of solicitor for your case by speaking with one of our advisors. Their contact details are below.
If you want to talk to an expert team member from Legal Expert, you can ring us on 0800 073 8804 or book a phone call on this page. Or you could speak to one of our advisors via our live chat messenger.
Who could make a data breach claim?
Someone could be eligible to make a data breach compensation claim if they have suffered from distress, trauma, or financial losses as a result of having their data breached and believe that the party holding their data was responsible. In some situations, people could have the right to make a claim on behalf of someone else if they aren’t able to enter a claim on their own behalfs, such as children under 18 or people with cognitive disabilities or learning difficulties.
How do I check my eligibility to claim?
To find out whether or not you are eligible to make a claim, you can contact our team of experts. Discussing your situation with them should allow them to make an assessment of whether or not you have grounds to make a claim for data breach compensation.
How long could my claim take?
The amount of time your claim takes depends on the situation. In some cases, a claim could be resolved in just a few months. However, if the claim is disputed by the party you are claiming against, the case could go to court, and it could take a year or more to resolve.
Could I get an interim payout?
An interim payout is an advance on the settlement you are claiming. If you are in financial need you could receive a portion of the compensation early, and receive the rest of the compensation later once the agreement of the final value of compensation is established. Note that you can only receive an interim payout if it has already been established that you are entitled to compensation for a data breach by Chelmsford Council.
Written By Yarlett
Edited By Melissa.