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East Staffordshire Borough Council Data Breach Claims

You have the right to expect that your personal data will be protected. This guide shall examine procedures that you could follow if an East Staffordshire Borough Council data breach occurred and puts this information at risk in any way. Our aim in this guide is to establish the criteria for a data breach victim to be able to claim should they be affected by a data breach.

When Could I Claim For A Local Authority Data Breach?

East Staffordshire Borough Council data breach claims guide

East Staffordshire Borough Council data breach claims guide

The circumstances surrounding your claim will determine how you proceed. There may be some similarities with other claims, but each is unique in its own way. This is why, once you have read this guide, you may still have questions. We can still answer your questions if you do. Contact one of our advisors by calling 0800 073 8804 to get the answers you need. We are ready to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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A Guide About How To Claim Should An East Staffordshire Borough Council Data Breach Occur

This guide will assist you in accomplishing two tasks. Firstly we will look at how a potential East Staffordshire Borough Council data breach could occur. Secondly, we explain what can be claimed for should a data breach claim be successful.

To begin, the guide includes a graph showing the causes of non-cyber security incidents that have occurred in central government. Following this, we reviewed the UK data privacy and security laws, in relation to a claim against a council for a data breach.

The next section looks at how the council has to maintain data security in accordance with UK law. A number of example scenarios illustrate how noncompliance with these laws could result in your data being compromised.

It is possible to report and complain about a data breach in a formal way, and we explain how you may go about doing so. Moreover, we have also discussed the steps you can take to claim compensation if a data controller, those who collect and process your data, failed to keep it secure.

We go into detail about what can be claimed if the case is successful, looking closely at material and non-material damages. Moreover, we have provided an example compensation table for you. No Win No Fee cases are discussed, with an emphasis on their advantages.

At the end of this guide are some general tips on how to file a claim. In addition, we have added some useful links, as well as a short FAQ section.

Time Limits For Claims

There is a time limit within which you must begin your claim for a council data breach. Here are some examples:

  • Claims must be started in a year for data breach claims against public bodies
  • In other cases, six years

This time limit is, however, subject to other factors as well. It would be impossible to cover them all in a single guide. Therefore, we recommend that you call and speak with one of our expert claim advisors. They will be able to tell you which deadlines are likely to apply if you explain your case to them.

Must Know UK Cyber Security Statistics

We will look at the duties of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) later in this guide. Here, we’ll focus on the data the ICO releases about data breaches in the UK, which is publicly accessible. In making the graph below, some of this data was used. The infographic illustrates some of the main reasons for data security issues in central government.

Data Breach Causes

Should an East Staffordshire Borough Council data breach occur would this then mean your personal information stored there has been breached? And could you claim for any financial loss and distress caused? This guide shall look to examine these two key questions.

What Could Be An East Staffordshire Borough Council Data Breach?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU directive. Now we have left the EU the UK have their own version of GDPR (UK-GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) has been altered since leaving the EU. These new regulations and legislation provide the data subject, those who have their data processed, a lot more say over how their personal information is used.

East Staffordshire Borough Council’s data collection processes, for example, must comply with these laws. Data breaches can happen for different reasons. Some are cyber-related while others can happen due to human error. A data breach is described as a security incident that has allowed your personal data to be lost, stolen, altered, destroyed or even accessed by an unauthorised party. This can be accidentally, deliberately or in an unlawful manner.

Our claim advisors can provide advice on how best to proceed if you give them a call.

Should The Borough Council Comply With The GDPR

East Staffordshire Borough Council has to comply with UK-GDPR and data privacy laws just like any other company or non-government organisation. An effective UK-GDPR policy must embrace and act on seven key principles. As follows:

  • To be fair, legal, and transparent.
  • Putting a limit on how much data can be stored.
  • Ensuring the privacy and security of personal data.
  • Keeping data for a limited period of time.
  • Purpose limitation
  • Maintaining the accuracy of data.
  • Being held responsible for a data breach.

Just because a data breach has occurred will not automatically mean those that have been a data breach victim will qualify for compensation. If a data controller can demonstrate that they did all they could to protect your data then a claim is unlikely.

Data A Council Could Hold And How This Data Could Be Leaked

Councils may hold a vast amount of information about those that use their services. The GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 look to protect not all data but data that is considered personal. This can include contact details, bank details, information that can identify you. Below we look at how data breaches can occur if there are no policies in place to protect your personally identifiable information;

  • If an external hard drive or USB memory stick containing your data is disposed of, and the data on them is not wiped.
  • Data that is contained on physical documents are not shredded before being discarded.
  • In the event of lax cybersecurity, cybercriminals may gain access to your data.
  • A recipient is emailed with your personal or sensitive data who are not authorised to receive it.

To have a valid data breach claim against a local authority the onus is on you to prove using evidence that they failed to put procedures in place to protect your personal data. This could include not updating their cyber security which allowed hackers to exploit a weakness in the system. For more information, speak with a member of our claims team.

Breaches Of Housing And Social Services Data

The council’s data protection policy should limit the risk of personal data being exposed. The ways a data controller could look to protect a data subject’s data is by training staff that process personal data, ensure that files stored on online databases are secure and limit the amount of data collected. Below you will find potential scenarios which could result in a data breach;

  • Unauthorised parties gain access to financial records such as a rent statement.
  • Social Services share information about you and your family with an unauthorised party after a wrongly approved request for information.
  • A tenancy agreement, for example, is displayed on a computer screen where passersby can see it.

Should an East Staffordshire Borough Council data breach take place our team can help. Our advisors can provide free legal advice.

Who Do You Report Data Breaches To?

You can take certain steps to determine what happened to you if an East Staffordshire Borough Council data breach occurs. East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Data Protection Officer should be your first point of contact. The Data Protection Officer can let you know if there has been a breach, and if so what happened and if your data was included. You might discover that there was no risk to your data.

You can contact the ICO if there has been a data breach, or if a council fails to provide you with the information you need. In the UK, the ICO handles complaints about data breaches and has the authority to take punitive action against organisations that violate UK-GDPR.

In any case, you must file a complaint with the ICO within a reasonable timeframe. If you last communicated with the council about the breach more than three months ago the ICO is unlikely to take action on your complaint.

Explaining How The Claims Process Works

Having evidence that the party responsible for looking after your personal data failed to keep it secure is key when making a data breach claim. Not all data breaches will entitle those affected to make a compensation claim. The data controller must have failed to put procedures in place that would have kept your personal information safe. 

As we will explore in the sections that follow a successful data breach claim will allow you to claim for financial losses as well as harm suffered to your health. But you will need evidence to back up what you are claiming for. So this is where the process for claiming for a data breach starts.

Get in touch with one of our advisors if you would like some more general advice on starting a claim. An experienced solicitor will assess your claim for you, which will enable them to begin working on it for you if you wish.

How Compensation Settlements Are Valued

A successful claim for a data breach could result in compensation from two main sources. If you suffer psychological injury or financial loss, you may be entitled to damages. Let’s take a moment to examine each of them more closely.

Damages For Mental Suffering

If a data breach causes financial losses to you or not, you can still file a claim for mental injuries. As a result of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. a precedent was set in 2015 at the Court of Appeal. Even though they were not facing any financial difficulties, the claimants were successful in their lawsuit for mental injury damages. Consequently, you could potentially follow suit.

Damages For Financial Losses

In addition, you may be able to claim damages for any financial losses. There are two types of losses in this situation. Data breaches themselves can result in losses. For instance, a criminal spending money on your credit cards or taking out new loans in your name. Costs of the claim are the second. For example, postal charges, courier fees, or telephone charges.

Call our claims team to discuss your case and find out what damages you may be able to pursue. You can get further assistance from them.

How Do You Calculate A Payout For An East Staffordshire Borough Council Data Breach?

In the event that your claim for a data breach is successful, the amount of compensation you receive will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. As all claims are different, we cannot calculate an average amount. We can, however, provide you with an example compensation table. We were able to base it on the guidelines produced by the Judicial College in England. These guidelines go into a publication that is often used by legal professionals when calculating damages for injuries and illnesses in personal injury claims.

Edit
Severity Health Problem Possible Damages More Information
Less severe Psychiatric issues Up to £5,500 All less severe mental disorders would be included in this category. A traumatic event, for example, may have caused this. Some victims may fully recover after some time, but they may have ongoing mental health issues that affect their lives in some way.
Severe Psychiatric issues £51,460 – £108,620 This category would include all severe mental damage. Several traumatising experiences likely led to this. Although the victim might be able to recover somewhat with time, there will almost certainly be ongoing mental health problems, perhaps for the rest of the victim’s life.
Moderate Psychiatric issues £5,500 – £17,900 Psychiatric damage of moderate severity falls into this category. This may result from an event that is both stressful and shocking. Minor symptoms may persist after recovery, but they will not be problematic.
Moderately severe Psychiatric issues £17,900 – £51,460 Moderately severe psychiatric damage falls into this category. Such a condition could be caused by a traumatic event. Despite full recovery over time, the victim is likely to experience continued symptoms post-recovery, possibly well into the future.

In order to determine the amount of compensation you could receive, we can assess your case. Upon calling our claims team, a solicitor from our expert panel will conduct a claim evaluation on your behalf.

No Win No Fee Solicitors For An East Staffordshire Borough Council Data Breach

No Win No Fee is a term you might be familiar with? You probably already know the meaning of this term in general. However, you may not know that such a fee structure can be applied to a claim for a council data breach.

In such a scenario, there would be no new claim fees, and the solicitor would not be expected to collect ongoing fees throughout the life cycle of the claim. Moreover, solicitor fees will not be charged if the claim is unsuccessful.

You may, however, expect a small success fee when your claim is won (that is legally limited). These costs can be deducted directly from the compensation payment the legal team received for you. If you call our advisors with any questions about No Win No Fee claims, they will be able to assist you.

Will I Need A Data Protection Solicitor From My Local Area?

You don’t have to use a local legal firm. It is best to use a specialist or experienced solicitor, regardless of their location. You can ask us for help if that is the case. You can depend on us to handle your data breach claim since we have access to a team of expert solicitors. Once you speak with one of our advisors, they will take you through the claims process quickly and simply.

Talking To A Solicitor For Free

Thank you for reading our guide about steps to take should an East Staffordshire Borough Council data breach occur. For further assistance, please contact an advisor using the information below.

Telephone: 0800 073 8804

Use our webchat or fill in a contact request.

Similar And Related Content

We have included some links to other guides with useful information here.

Furthermore, these other websites have some great information.

What To Do If Your Data Has Been Breached

Privacy Breaches: A Guide

How Does Data Protection Work?

Data Breach Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some simple answers to the types of questions you may have about a data breach.

Is there a charge for making a request under the data protection act?

No, it is free to exercise your right to make a subject access request.

What is personal data processing?

Personal data processing relates to how the data controller uses your data.

What are Subject Access Requests?

A subject access request is a request to find out what information a data controller holds about you.

Our advisors can answer any of your questions should an East Staffordshire Borough Council data breach occur.

Written By Wheeler

Edited by Melissa.

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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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