Data Breach By Stoke-On-Trent City Council Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?
Public Body Data Breach Claims Guide
Have you been affected by a potential data breach by Stoke-On-Trent city council? This guide aims to help.
In 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced. It was enacted into UK law by the Data Protection Act 2018, which sits alongside the UK GDPR. It changed the way that organisations and local authorities use data.
The UK GDPR states that organisations must follow specific rules and regulations when managing data. Many local authorities adhere to this in order to keep personal data protected and secure. Not adhering to data protection laws could cause personal data breaches.
Data breaches could be potentially dangerous, such as identity theft. You may be able to make a data breach claim if you’ve been a victim of a data breach and can prove that mistakes resulted in this breach. You’d need to also have suffered financially or psychologically.
Our team of advisers are on hand 24/7 to chat about your situation and offer 24/7 free legal advice. If you have a legitimate claim, our team of advisers could connect you with one of our solicitors and discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you.
To get in touch with our team of advisers, you can:
- Call them on 0800 073 8804 to discuss your case.
- Fill in our online claims form to receive a response at your earliest convenience.
- Chat with an adviser via our live chat pop-up box for an instant response.
Select A Section
- A Guide On Whether You Can Claim For A Stoke-On-Trent City Council Data Breach
- Statistics On Cyber Security Breaches
- What Are Stoke-On-Trent City Council Data Breaches?
- Does The GDPR Cover Local Authority Data?
- Breaches In Data Protection Affecting Councils
- Tenants Statements And Social Housing Data Breaches
- What Happens When A Complaint Is Made To The Information Commissioner?
- Suing A Public Body For A Breach Of Data Protection
- What Effects Of A Data Breach Could You Be Compensated For?
- Calculate Stoke-On-Trent City Council Data Breach Damages
- No Win No Fee Claims For Stoke-On-Trent City Council Data Breaches
- Finding An Expert To Handle Your Case
- Speak To An Expert
- Where To Learn More About Data Protection
- FAQs On Claiming For Public Sector Data Breaches
This guide will first look at cybersecurity breach statistics to get an idea of how common they are. Next, there’ll be a section exploring what could constitute a council data breach. The article will then discuss whether the UK GDPR covers local authorities.
There’ll be a section looking at what breaches can happen relating to councils. The guide will also discuss what data breaches can happen surrounding tenant statements and social housing data breaches.
There will also be a section looking at what happens when a complaint is made to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is an independent authority and it enforces data protection laws.
There will then be an exploration of what data breach compensation can include. Additionally, there’ll be a compensation table outlining the amount of compensation some psychological injuries could be worth.
The guide will then talk about what a No Win No Fee agreement is and whether our solicitors are open to working on that basis.
Next, there will be guidance on how to find a lawyer that you can work well with and who has your best interests throughout your claim. There will also be some further guides and some data breach claims frequently asked questions to ensure you leave this guide with a substantial amount of information about data breach claims.
The below graph includes statistics taken from the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021. Overall, of those that responded to the survey, 39% of businesses and 26% of charities suffered a cyber attack or breach across the 12 months. The percentage of cyber attacks on businesses has gone down since 2020, when it was 46%, whereas charities have stayed at the same percentage.
The graph shows data regarding the businesses and charities that have reported cybersecurity attacks or breaches in the 12 months prior to March 2021. It indicates the percentages of these businesses and charities that have experienced phishing or impersonation attacks.
If you have evidence and a justifiable claim, why not talk to us about a data breach by Stoke-on-Trent City Council?
The UK GDPR states that a data breach occurs when a breach in security causes personal information to be lost, changed, destroyed, disclosed or accessed unlawfully. This can occur digitally or with physical data.
Even if it caused no harm, a data breach could still result in a data breach fine.
Here are some examples of potential council data breaches:
- Email data breach: This could happen accidentally. An employee might, for example, send an email containing personal information to the incorrect, unauthorised recipient. Or they could send an email to several personal email addresses but use the CC field instead of the Bcc field, meaning recipients can see email addresses they’re not authorised to see.
- Letter delivered to the wrong address: Councils should ensure personal information (such as names and addresses) is up to date to prevent this from happening. If they send a letter containing personal information to the incorrect address despite having the correct one on file, an unauthorised recipient could access it.
- Documents left on public transport: A data breach could occur by a member of the council accidentally leaving documents on public transport. For example, they could accidentally leave a bag on a train that contains personal data. Someone could then open the bag and have access to the personal information.
Hopefully, this guide on what you could do after a potential data breach by Stoke-on-Trent City Council is helpful. If you need us at any point, why not call or use our live chat?
According to the UK GDPR, organisations that collect or process your personal data should inform you of who they’d like to share your information with, why they’d like to access it, and how it will be used. Furthermore, an organisation can’t share your personal information unless you give consent or they have a lawful basis for sharing it without your consent.
The UK GDPR affects our lives on a daily basis, even if we don’t recognise it. A common example is when websites request we tick a box to allow them to use tracking cookies. If the UK GDPR didn’t exist, the website might be able to use tracking cookies without our consent.
Additionally, when we give our information to the council to pay Council Tax online, we’re asked to tick boxes confirming how we allow our data to be used. However, there are some instances when the council doesn’t need our consent to share our data.
Examples of this are:
- When your data is requested by the HMRC for lawful reasons
- If social services request your medical records for lawful reasons
If you need more information about what information the council is allowed to share without your consent, you can have a look at this guide about if an organisation needs your consent.
There are multiple ways that a data breach could occur. Here are some personal data breach claim examples:
- A letter containing personal information is sent to the wrong address where an unauthorised recipient accesses it.
- A council member leaves a computer that contains personal data unlocked in a public space and an unauthorised person accesses it.
- A local council offers your personal data to third party without your permission or a lawful reason.
Some local council data breaches aren’t even noticed, but if the local council is aware of a data breach, they should let you know.
If you’re unsure whether you can make a personal data breach claim, you can get in touch with our experienced advisers. They can chat with you about your case and connect you with our solicitors if you have a valid claim.
Below there are examples of personal data that the local council could hold about housing tenants:
- Tenancy documents: The local council should protect these documents. It could include the person’s name and address, for example.
- Rent statement: This could include private personal information. This might be how much your monthly rent costs, a payment date, reference their address, and their name.
- Scans of tenancy audit documents: Often, this includes scans of passports. This could result in identity theft, which could allow criminals to access bank accounts or take out loans in your name.
Here are examples of breaches:
- Failure to protect information: The local council should protect your personal data if they hold it. If they fail to do this and leave your rent statements unsecured and accessible, someone could access this data.
- Failing to redact information: This could happen when the council sends local landowners information packs. To include your data in an information pack, the local council should receive your consent or have a lawful basis. If they don’t, it would be a data breach.
This guide looks at what you could do after a potential data breach by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and aims to help. However, if you need answers quickly, why not reach out to us for free legal advice?
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent authority that enforces data protection law in the UK. It investigates reports of data breaches. However, before you report a data breach to the ICO, you should formally complain to the organisation or council whose failings caused the data breach.
If you’re not happy with the response, you may consider getting in touch with the ICO about it. This should usually be done within 3 months of the last meaningful discourse between you and the local council on the matter. Waiting longer to send the complaint could impact the ICO’s decisions.
You may need to be aware that the ICO can’t give compensation. Although they are able to issue fines, this won’t compensate you directly.
You’re not obliged to report the data breach to the ICO, but it can be helpful if you’d like to find out exactly what happened. Furthermore, it’s not necessary to put off getting legal advice. You can reach out to our advisers to receive free legal advice today.
If you’d like to explore suing for your data breach, you can have a chat about your situation with our expert team of advisers. They’re available 24/7 to discuss the matter with you and assess how strong your case could be.
This is where the claim process begins. After chatting with an adviser, they can connect you to our experienced solicitors to start the claims process. They may suggest you report the data breach to the ICO or the council to find out more about how the data breach happened.
On the other hand, they may feel that filing a claim directly against the council for the data breach is more appropriate. In this case, your solicitor can pursue the claim without having to contact the ICO.
You can get in touch with our team of advisers at your earliest convenience to explore which option may be better for your claim.
Since the guide has now looked at why someone may pursue a claim for a data breach, this section will now talk about what the claim can include. The awarded compensation in this type of claim could be halved into non-material and material damages.
Material damages are essentially compensation for the financial losses the personal data breach has caused you. For instance, if your bank account details have been accessed, someone may take money out of your account.
Additionally, a data breach could have a long-term financial impact too. For example, your credit score may be affected due to a criminal stealing your banking information. You can discuss credit card data breach compensation with our team of advisers.
You can prove these losses by providing bank statements or credit scores, for example.
Non-Material Damages After A Data Breach By Stoke-on-Trent City Council?
Non-material damages provide compensation for any psychological harm you’ve suffered due to the data breach. An example of this is if the data breach has caused you anxiety and worry. Furthermore, there could be a long-lasting psychological effect if you feel stress and anxiety from the concept that your data could be breached again.
You can prove this by attending a medical assessment as part of the claim. You’d meet with an independent medical expert who would assess your condition. They’d create a report that looks at:
- The severity of your condition.
- Whether it was caused or exacerbated by the data breach (or whether there’s no link).
If you use the services of a solicitor, they’d then use this report to help prove and value your psychological injuries.
You’re only able to make one data breach claim. Therefore, you’re unable to ask the council for additional compensation once the claim is finished (even if you have a valid reason).
You can contact our team of advisers to discuss this further.
Although some guides can include compensation calculators, the figures may be inaccurate and unhelpful for this type of claim. This is due to the fact that the value of every data breach claim varies due to different circumstances.
This guide instead includes a compensation table to show the recommended values for some psychological injuries. These figures may vary. The table is an example. It uses figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals use the JCG to help them with injury valuations.
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Severe||The person will be unable to continue with life as they did before the trauma. For example, they’ll be unable to work.||£56,180 to £94,470|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Moderate||Symptoms are similar to the above and may persist for a long time. However, the individual may be able to recover if they work with a professional.||£7,680 to £21,730|
|Psychiatric Damage||Moderately Severe||The individual will be unable to attend work and continue with their social life but the prognosis with not be severe.||£17,900 to £51,460|
|Psychiatric Damage||Moderate||The person will struggle to maintain friendships, relationships, and social life. They will also struggle to attend work, but their chance of recovery is higher than the above bracket.||£17,900 to £51,460|
|Psychiatric Damage||Less Severe||The person may struggle with symptoms that are minor.||Up to £5,500|
The case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc  changed the way that compensation is awarded for damages caused by data breaches.
The Court of Appeal explored the way victims of data breaches are compensated and held that they could claim for psychological damage compensation caused by the data breach. This is regardless of whether they’d also suffered a financial impact. Before this case, this hadn’t been possible.
Due to this case, it’s now possible to claim for either a monetary loss or psychological injuries (or both).
The case also meant that you can value the psychological injuries a data breach causes as you would do for a personal injury claim.
If you can’t see your injuries in the compensation table above, reach out to us. Our advisers offer accurate, free estimates with no obligation to proceed with our services.
If you have proof of a valid claim, our solicitors would be open to exploring No Win No Fee agreements with you. This type of agreement is a signed contract between your solicitor and yourself stating you aren’t obligated to pay your solicitor’s fees if your claim is unsuccessful.
If your case succeeds, your solicitor will deduct a percentage of your compensation that’s small and legally capped.
You can also benefit from:
- No upfront solicitor fees
- No ongoing solicitor fees
- Only paying solicitor fees once the compensation comes through if the case is successful
Why wait to learn more about this type of claims agreement? You can chat with our friendly team of advisers whenever you’re ready to discuss your situation and learn more about this type of claim agreement.
It’s worth noting that it’s not mandatory to limit yourself to your local area when searching for a lawyer to fit your needs. You can read some client reviews to see how other claimants have found working with a particular lawyer or law firm.
You can browse some of our client reviews here:
- ‘I always felt that I had someone on my side’ – Deborah, 2020
- ‘Very happy with this firm’s provisions’ – Tom, 2020
Our team of advisers are always readily available to have a chat with you about your situation. If you have a legitimate claim, they could connect you with our expert solicitors to discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you.
The data breach claims time limit is 6 years if the claim is against a private organisation. Alternatively, the time limit for data breach claims changes to a year if a public body or council is the defendant. And note that various factors can impact the time limit, which is why you should get in touch ASAP. Our team of advisers are always available and ready to have a chat about your options at your earliest convenience.
We’ve almost finished this guide that explores what could happen after a potential data breach by Stoke-on-Trent City Council. If you decide to chat with our friendly team of advisers, you’re under no obligation to continue with our services. However, if your claim is legitimate, an adviser can connect you with a solicitor to begin the claims process.
To speak with one of our advisers, you can:
- Ring them on 0800 073 8804 to have a chat about your situation.
- Fill out our claims form online to receive a response whenever is best for you.
- Talk with an adviser through our live chat pop-up box for an immediate reply.
Solicitors Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Solicitors Data Breach – Have you suffered a solicitors data breach? Our guide explores making a data breach claim.
Unauthorised Access To Patient Medical Records UK – Can I Claim Compensation? – If the privacy of your medical records has been breached in the UK, our article discusses how you can make a data breach claim.
Mortgage Company Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Mortgage Company Data Breach – Our guide looks at how you can claim compensation for a mortgage company data breach.
Report A Breach – This ICO link allows you to report a data breach if you decide to.
Your Data Matters – This article explains what rights you have after suffering a data breach.
Action We’ve Taken – You can click this link to learn more about how the ICO works to prevent data breaches.
Are local authorities exempt from GDPR?
Local authorities, like any authority or organisation, must follow the UK GDPR if they collect or process personal information. However, there are certain circumstances where the Data Protection Act 2018 provides exemptions from certain UK GDPR provisions.
What to do if you are a victim of a data breach?
If you’re the victim of a data breach, you can chat with our team of advisers. If your claim is legitimate, they can connect you to our lawyers.
Can I sue if my data is leaked?
You could make a complaint to the organisation whose failings led to the data breach. If you don’t receive a satisfactory response, you could report the data breach to the ICO. If you suffered financial loss or psychological harm as a consequence of the breach, you could make a data breach claim.
Thank you for reading our guide about what could happen after a potential data breach by Stoke-On-Trent City Council.
Written by Naylor
Edited by Victorine