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

Universities have to manage a lot of relationships every day. That obviously includes students and staff but could also include fundraisers, supporters and alumni. For each of these relationships, the university is likely to have to store a vast amount of personal information. In this digital world, this type of data can be a valuable commodity if it gets into the hands of criminals, so it needs to be stored securely. This article will look at the concept of data breach claims against Cranfield University or any university.      

Cranfield University data breach claims guide

Data breach claims against Cranfield university guide

Data security laws have been bolstered in recent years with the introduction of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation which you may have heard referred to as the GDPR. Since these laws were implemented, organisations are obliged to keep personal information as secure as possible. If they don’t, and a data breach occurs, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) could investigate them. The ICO may also force them to pay a substantial fine. Additionally, you could be entitled to claim data breach compensation.

Legal Expert could be able to help you start a data breach claim. We provide free advice and a free assessment of any case without obligation for you to make a claim. If the advisor who deals with your enquiry believes the case is strong enough, they could connect you to a solicitor. If they agree to work on your case, they’ll do so using a No Win No Fee service.

To receive a free assessment of your claim today, please call us on 0800 073 8804. If you’d rather learn more about university data breach protection claims before contacting us, please read more of our guide below.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against Cranfield University

Some people may think that the GDPR has made using the Internet annoying. That’s because every time you visit a new website, they generally ask you to confirm your data sharing preferences. But that’s not the only place you’ll interact with the GDPR. You may also notice questions relating to the use of your personal information on forms when you register with a GP, sign a contract, or begin a university course.

These GDPR checks are important. They give you control over how others use your personal information. Generally, organisations that want to process personal information about you have to get your permission first and they usually have to use your data in the way that you have authorised. Additionally, they need to keep the data secure to stop prying eyes from reading it. If a data breach involving your personal information does occur, two things could happen: 

  1. The ICO might conduct an investigation, which could lead to a large financial penalty. 
  2. You could raise a compensation claim for any harm the data breach caused you.

We should let you know that data breach claims are time-limited. In most cases, there is a 6-year limitation period to make a claim but that can be taken down to a single year if it relates to a human rights breach. Whichever time limit applies, we’d advise you to get in touch as soon as you’re able to. That’s because it is often a lot easier to remember how you have been affected the sooner you discuss your case. Your solicitor is likely to benefit from an early start too because they could find it easier to collect evidence to support your allegations.

When you’ve finished reading, feel free to call the number at the top of the screen to begin your claim.

What Is A Data Security Breach By A University?

Data breaches don’t just involve ransomware, denial of service attacks, malware, phishing emails and viruses. It is important to point out that the GDPR covers all types of data including physical documents that institutions may, for example, store in filing cabinets. Therefore, when we talk about data security, we could simply mean that those in control of data should, for instance, lock filing cabinets to stop unauthorised parties from accessing personal information.

The GDPR lists personal data breaches as something that happens following a security failure. The security failure would cause personal information to be disclosed, altered, lost, destroyed or accessed by unauthorised persons. (However, there are some instances where a body in control of your data wouldn’t need your permission to use it.)

When a breach occurs, the responsible organisation must let any individuals who could be at risk know about it. They also need to keep the ICO in the loop regarding their investigation.

Our guide to data breach claims against Cranfield University should supply some useful information you may be looking for. If you’d prefer to talk, please let a member of our team know about your experience and they’ll assess your case for free. 

GDPR Compliance For Universities

Even though the GDPR amounts to many pages of legal information, it is actually quite readable and easy to understand. It contains some important definitions which make it easier to understand who is responsible for what. For instance, it describes the data controller as the party who is responsible for defining why they need your personal data and how they will process it.

The document also contains a list of principles that data controllers must comply with, including:

  • Ensuring data processing is fair, obvious and legal.
  • Processing data in a confidential and secure manner.
  • Updating personal information they’re storing.
  • Only retaining personal data for as long as is necessary.
  • Only obtaining the least amount of data required to meet the purposes of the processing.

The type of information defined as personal data is anything that might allow a data subject to be identified. For instance, this could include names, addresses, student numbers, email addresses or information relating to disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or other protected characteristics.

If you believe someone breached the rules of the GDPR and caused you to suffer, please contact our team for free claims advice. 

Data Breaches That Have Affected UK Universities

In this section, we are going to look at a data breach that has occurred recently relating to multiple UK universities. While not linked to Cranfield University, we’re using this example to show how university staff and students have had their data breached.

The breach involved a company named Blackbaud that provides hosted software solutions to allow higher education establishments.

In 2020, the company realised that attackers had compromised and downloaded a subset of its data. The hackers demanded a ransom. The data was from a number of organisations including universities, charities and trusts.

Initially, the company explained that the data included details like names, addresses, fundraising details, email addresses and telephone numbers. Later on, though, it disclosed that in some circumstances, the attackers may have accessed payment details and passwords as well.

In an unusual step, Blackbaud paid the hacker’s ransom in return for assurances that they had destroyed the stolen data.


What Are The Rates Of Data Security Breaches Suffered By Universities?

If you have been reading this article thinking that data breaches in universities don’t happen that often, then you might be surprised by a recent study conducted by a data security firm. It contacted a number of UK universities via Freedom of Information requests to ask questions about data security. In total, 86 universities responded, and the study found that:

  • 54% had needed to inform the ICO about data breaches in the past 12 months.
  • Over a quarter (27%) stated that they had never used a third party company to assess the security of their computing environment.
  • 46% of staff at the universities had not been trained in safety awareness in the last year.
  • The annual budget per university, on average, for staff training was only just over £7,500.
  • Only 51% of universities proactively offered student training on data safety awareness.

In the section that follows, we will look at some steps which could help lower the chances of university data breaches.


How Could Universities Be Affected By Cybercrime?

To help lower the risk of having their systems breached or information accessed, universities could:

  • Increase training budgets to help staff and students understand their data security responsibilities.
  • Review and update their data privacy policies regularly.
  • Keep apps, software and hardware up to date.
  • Make sure students and staff use encryption on portable devices like notebooks or memory sticks in case of loss or theft.
  • Hire an external security firm to assess the physical and network security to spot problems before hackers do.

While each of the actions listed could cost money initially, they could save a lot of harm if they prevent a data breach from occurring in the future. 

If you have questions about data breach claims against Cranfield University please call our advisors today. 

What Types Of Compensation May Be Awarded?

We can split claims relating to data breaches into two main elements. The first is material damages, which you could claim if a data breach results in you losing money. The next is non-material damages, which you might claim if a professional’s diagnosed you with psychiatric damage that the data breach caused. 

In reality, each and every data breach claim is different. That means we can’t tell you exactly what compensation you’ll be able to claim in this guide. When you contact us, our advisors can assess your claim properly. They should be able to explain the level of compensation your claim could achieve. A thorough assessment of your case is important as it is only possible to make a single compensation claim. That means you cannot ask for additional compensation at a later date once you’ve settled your claim in full.

Therefore, when calculating your claim, your solicitor should look to see if any short-term harm could continue and cause long-term problems. For example, if you’ve lost money because cybercriminals used your personal information, your claim might need to include any additional costs you suffer in the future because your credit file has been impaired.

Similarly, if the data breach caused you to have anxiety, depression or other psychiatric injuries, you could include their future effects in your claim. For example, the condition may cause problems with work, the ability to cope with life or how you are able to manage your relationships.

The complexity of these types of claims is the main reason we advise having a legal specialist on your side. Please get in touch today if you would like us to review your case for free and to see if a specialist solicitor could support your claim. 

Data Breach Compensation Calculator For Claims Against Cranfield University

Now, we are going to consider how much compensation could be awarded. The Court of Appeal decided, when reviewing the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], that it is acceptable to claim for psychological injuries that result from data breach even if you have not suffered financial losses. Moreover, the amounts paid should be the same as in personal injury claims.

To demonstrate the level of compensation that could be awarded, we’ve listed some example figures in the table that follows. We have used data from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to populate the table. Courts and legal professionals may use the JCG to help work out compensation amounts for different injuries.

Claim SeveritySettlementComments
Psychiatric DamageSevere£51,460 - £108,620There will be severe problems with coping with work, life and relationships. Treatment is unlikely to help at all so the overall prognosis will be very poor.
Psychiatric DamageModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460The problems in this category will be significant and similar to above but the medical prognosis will be more optimistic.
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerately Severe£21,730 to £56,180 There will be some significant disability caused by PTSD in this category but there will be a good prognosis as improvements will be expected with professional help.
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderLess SevereTo £7,680Where an almost full recovery from PTSD symptoms occurs within a year or two.

When a settlement amount is calculated, it is based on the severity of your psychiatric injuries. Data protection solicitors aren’t able to prove this alone, so they need to use independent medical experts. During your claim, you will need to participate in a local medical assessment. The specialist who sees you will ask questions relating to how you have been impacted by the data breach and will look at your medical records too.

Once they have completed their assessment, the specialist will write a report to outline their findings to your lawyer. They could use these findings as proof to support your claim.

How To Find A Data Breach Compensation Expert

If you have now come to the decision that you want to start a claim, what is the first thing you will need to do? Well, it might be that you want to ask friends to recommend a data breach solicitor to help you. Some people even use online reviews to help them search or just go with the nearest law firm.

We might be able to make your search a lot easier and less time-consuming. Simply call our advice line and our advisors will give you plenty of time to discuss your claim, ask any questions and raise any concerns. If you decide you want to work with Legal Expert you’ll be partnered with a specialist solicitor. They will answer questions throughout your claim, provide updates regularly and work hard to try to and get the best possible outcome in your case.

To learn more about the ways in which Legal Expert can help with university data breach claims, call an advisor right away.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Cranfield University

If you can prove you suffered and would like to claim compensation for a data breach, but you are worried about the costs involved when hiring a solicitor, then we can help. We offer a No Win No Fee service for all claims that our solicitors take on. This can reduce the financial risk of using a solicitor. Consequently, making a claim could become less stressful.

Before we agree to offer a No Win No Fee service, a solicitor will need to review your case. Once they’ve completed that task, if both parties are happy to proceed, they’ll give you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is your contract, and it will explain how the claim will proceed. It will also show you that:

  • You don’t need to pay solicitors fees upfront.
  • Your solicitor won’t request their fees during the claims process.
  • In the event that the claim fails, you will not have to pay the solicitor’s fees whatsoever.

When there is a positive end to your claim and compensation is awarded, your solicitor will deduct a success fee to cover any costs. This is a percentage of your compensation that the law has capped. To ensure you are aware of the percentage that will apply in your case, it is clearly listed in your CFA.

To ask an advisor to confirm if you could be entitled to make use of our No Win No Fee service, please contact us today.

Contact Us

You have just about finished this guide to data breach claims against Cranfield university. We hope you have found it useful. For more advice please call our team today. You can reach Legal Expert by:

  • Using our live chat channel to ask an online advisor about the claims process.
  • Calling 0800 073 8804 to ask a specialist to assess your claim for free.
  • Emailing to let us know what happened and how you have been affected.
  • Beginning a claim online to request a call from a specialist at a suitable time.

We like to keep things as straightforward as possible. When you get in touch, an advisor will run through what has happened to you. They will discuss any evidence you are able to supply and provide free advice about your claim. So that we don’t waste your time, we will provide honest feedback about your chances of winning the case. If it does appear to be viable, the advisor will refer you to a specialist No Win No Fee solicitor.

Learn More About Data Security Breach Claims

In the last part of our article on data breach claims against Cranfield University, we have included some additional links that might prove useful during your claim. In addition, you will see some more of our articles relating to the other types of claims. Should you require anything more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Complain To The ICO – Details on the process you need to follow if you are going to ask the ICO to investigate a data breach.

Low Mood And Depression – NHS advice on how to access their services if you are suffering from sadness, depression or low mood.

Uninsured Driver Claims – Information on a scheme that allows you to be compensated for injuries caused by an uninsured driver.

Workplace Repetitive Strain Injury – Details on starting an RSI claim against an employer.

Hospital Negligence – This article looks at the types of negligence in a hospital that could lead to a compensation claim.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Written by Hambridge

Edited by Victorine

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