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Cleveland Police Data Breach – Can I Claim?

This guide aims to explain how you could spot a Cleveland Police data breach and what you could do if one were to occur. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the independent authority in the UK that was set up to uphold the rights of individuals (data subjects). However, they are unable to compensate individuals. Therefore, we’ve written this guide to show you how you could take legal action yourself if a data breach were to cause you harm.

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is a piece of EU legislation that sets out how organisations must act when processing data. This was ratified into UK law with the Data Protection Act 2018, which was updated when the UK left the European Union. Now, the UK GDPR is the regime that dictates how organisations in the UK must act when processing personal data.

Cleveland police data breach claims guide

Cleveland police data breach claims guide

These laws apply to all organisations that process personal data about UK residents, including the police. If your data is exposed in a data breach and you suffer psychological injury or financial harm as a result, you could claim.

However, you’d need to show that failings on the part of the organisation caused the breach to happen. If they did everything they could to prevent a breach and one occurred anyway, you may not be eligible to claim.

If you want to know more about claiming for a police data breach, you can contact us for free legal advice. Our advisors can assess your claim during a telephone consultation and explain your options.

Where there are the grounds to proceed to a claim, we could connect you with a data breach solicitor from our team. They could represent you on a No Win No Fee basis during any claim; we’ll explain exactly what this means later on in this guide.

Please contact us today if you’d like to discuss claiming data breach compensation. Our team can be reached on 0800 073 8804. For more information on the claims process, please read on.

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What Is Classed As A Cleveland Police Data Breach?

Personal data is defined as information that can either identify you directly or lead to your identification when used in conjunction with other information according to the UK GDPR. Information must also be stored in order for it to be classed as data; however, this storage can be digital or physical.

A data breach is a security incident that causes or allows personal data to be altered, accessed, destroyed, lost or disclosed unlawfully or accidentally. You may be able to claim if a Cleveland Police data breach occurred and:

  • Caused you to suffer; and
  • It occurred as a result of the police force’s action (or inaction).

Your claim could be based on any stress you suffered as a result of the breach. You could also claim for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that the breach has caused you. Additionally, you could claim for any financial losses sustained, too.

Where Cleveland Police have done everything possible to protect your information, a data breach compensation claim wouldn’t be possible. However, if they did something that caused the data breach to occur, or if they failed to take all steps to secure your data, you could take action.

If you’re not sure whether you could claim, please get in touch. Our specialist advisors can speak about what has happened with you and let you know your options.

What Is An Example Of A Breach Of The Data Protection Act?

In this section, we are going to look at some ways in which a Cleveland Police data breach might happen.

In one news report, Clevland Police was found to have published a report online containing unredacted personal data. The data related to 1,661 people that had been restrained by police officers. It included their names, ethnicity, dates of birth and some health data.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-45750414

Other ways in which police data breaches might occur include:

  • The loss of laptops containing unencrypted personal data.
  • Where personal data is read unlawfully because it was sent to the wrong email address.
  • If paperwork containing personal data is stolen or left in a public place.
  • Where the force fails to securely destroy devices or paperwork containing personal data.
  • If a member of staff looks at the details of a neighbour, friend, colleague or relative without an official reason to do so.

Do you have proof that you’ve been harmed by a data breach? If so, please call today for free advice on your options.

Cleveland Police Data Breach Statistics

In this section, we have included a graph to show the types of security incidents that have been reported to the ICO in the second quarter of 2021. Importantly, these are for the whole justice sector.

Cleveland Police Data Breach Statistics Graph

These figures are based on reports of non-cyber security incidents. That means they don’t include incidents caused by cybercriminals. As you’ll notice loss of paperwork or data, failure to redact and unauthorised access incidents have all been reported.

What Should You Do If You Are The Victim Of A Data Breach?

If police data protection breaches occur, you may have to be informed about them. That will be the case if your rights or freedoms are affected. We would suggest that you keep a copy of any such letter safe. That’s because it might be used as evidence to support a data breach claim.

If you suspect you are the victim of a police data breach but have not been informed about one, you may wish to:

  • Contact the police and raise a formal complaint. If you do not agree with the response, escalate the complaint further. The ICO have a template you can use to do this.
  • Within 3 months of your last meaningful communication with the police, you could ask the ICO to investigate the matter for you.
  • Ask a data breach lawyer if you have the grounds to take legal action.

Remember, claims are only possible if the data breach happened because of positive wrongful conduct on the part of the police force. Additionally, you must show how the incident has caused you to suffer. Claims could be based on financial losses or psychological suffering.

What Is The Average UK GDPR Data Breach Payout?

If you have been harmed by a data breach, you could claim for:

  • Any expenses, costs or financial losses sustained because of the breach. This is called material damages.
  • Distress, anxiety, depression or other psychological injury (non-material damages)

You don’t need to have suffered both forms of harm in order to claim. You can claim for psychiatric harm even if you haven’t experienced any financial harm. This is because of a ruling in the case Google vs Vidal Hall [2015]. 

Our compensation table, below, provides some example awards for non-material damages. When legal professionals value personal injury compensation, they use brackets provided by the Judicial College.  We are able to use the same data in our table because of a ruling in the case of Gulati vs MGN Ltd [2015] which held that data breach claims can be valued in the same way as personal injury claims.

Edit
Claim Type Grade Compensation Bracket
PTSD Severe (a) £56,180 to £94,470
Moderately Severe (b) £21,730 to £56,180
Moderate (c) £7,680 to £21,730
Less Severe (d) Up to £7,680
General Psychiatric Damage Severe (a) £51,460 to £108,620
Moderately Severe (b) £17,900 to £51,460
Moderate (c) £5,500 to £17,900
Less Severe (d) Up to £5,500

For free advice on what you could claim for if affected by a Cleveland Police data breach, please get in touch. Our team will be happy to offer you free legal advice.

How No Win No Fee Data Breach Claim Solicitors Could Help

Our data breach solicitors provide a No Win No Fee service for any claim they work on. That makes claims a lot less stressful because of the reduced financial risks.

As the burden of risk is therefore with the solicitor, before accepting a claim, they will assess whether:

  • A personal data breach has occurred.
  • The defendant could’ve done something to prevent the breach from happening.
  • As a result of the breach, you suffered mental harm or financial losses.
  • Finally, you’re claiming within the time limits allowed by the Limitation Act 1980.

Our solicitors can offer a No Win No Fee agreement when representing you in your data breach claim. This is a kind of agreement that sets out the conditions your solicitor needs to meet before they get pain.

In the event of a successful claim, a success fee will be deducted from any settlement amount. This fee is listed in the CFA as a percentage of any compensation awarded. To stop you from being overcharged, success fees are legally capped.

With regards to time limits, data breach claims can have either a 1 year or 6 year limitation period. The 1-year limit applies to public authorities, and the 6-year limit applies to all other organisations. Therefore, we’d suggest you begin your claim as early as you can.

If you attempt to make a claim after the deadline, you may not be compensated at all. Why not use our live chat function to see how long you have left to begin?

Get Help When Claiming For A Cleveland Police Data Breach

All that’s left for us to do is to explain how to contact us for advice on your next steps. To discuss a Cleveland Police data breach with our team, you can:

Additional Guides And References

PTSD Symptoms – NHS guidance on how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is diagnosed and treated.

ICO Fines – The latest action taken by the ICO.

Making A Complaint – Make a complaint about how an organisation has processed your data.

Blackbaud Data Breach– This guide will provide information on the steps you could take after a Blackbaud data breach.

School Data Breaches – Information on dealing with a data breach by a school.

Social Services Data Breaches– Information on how to deal with a data breach by social services.

Other Guides That May Be Helpful

Thanks for reading this article about your options following a Cleveland Police data breach.

Written by Hambridge

Edited by Stocks

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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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