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Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Data Breach Claims

In this guide, we examine your rights should an Epsom And Ewell Borough Council data breach ever take place. The Ewell Council data protection policy will aim to protect any personal data that is stored about data subjects, those who have their data processed by a data controller. We will discuss in what scenarios would a data breach claim be valid and how you would go about the compensation process.

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council data breach claims guide

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council data breach claims guide

Coming back to those circumstances for a moment though, you must understand that these will be at least somewhat unique to your own situation. Meaning, we can’t possibly hope to answer every question you might have in a single guide. But, we still have you covered. We operate a 24/7 claims line on 0800 073 8804. You can call it whenever is convenient. One of our expert advisors will be able to answer your additional questions. They can also tell you about how we can provide you with a solicitor to help you to make your claim.

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A Guide On If You Could Claim For A Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Data Breach

This guide has two primary aims. The first is to demonstrate the criteria that need to be met in order for a data breach claim to be valid. The second, is to show how your personal data has the potential to be breached.

We begin this guide by presenting a graph that shows non-cyber data security incidents that have happened in local government. We follow this up with a general overview of the concept of eligibility in relation to a data breach claim. Next, we will introduce key legislation that applies, and also what types of data are protected by this legislation.

You will learn about how these rules and regulations apply to a local authority. We support this with some examples of what could happen if compliance with these laws slips.

Next, you will learn about who to contact if you think you have become the victim of a council data breach. Furthermore, the process of starting a claim is covered at this point in the guide.

We will then move on to take a look at the financial implications of the claims process. You are going to find out about the reasons you could be able to claim damages. Also, you will be able to get a rough estimate of the value of your claim using the included example compensation table. No WIn No Fee agreements are introduced, and this fee structure is outlined. We end this guide with some advice on starting your claim, some useful links and a short FAQ.

Are There Time Limits For Claiming?

If you do have a valid claim for a data breach, then yes, you have to start it within the applicable time limit. This will be based on the specifics of the claim. In general, you have up to six years to bring a claim for a data breach. However, data breach claims against public bodies must be started within 1 year.

If you would like to talk about the claims deadline with our claims team, just give them a call. They can tell you whether there will be any other factors that might have an impact on the deadline you have to meet to start a claim.

How Common Are Data Breaches Related To Human Errors?

In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for maintaining and policing data privacy and security. Further down this page, we cover the ICO in more depth. But for now, we just want to look at some of the data that it makes available to the public. We used this data to make this graph showing reasons why security data issues happen in local government. These figures are for the first quarter of the financial year 2021/22 and only look at non-cyvber security incidents.

Security Data Issues

Security Data Issues

What Could A Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Data Breach Be?

Epsom & Ewell District Council may collect personal data from data subjects, those who supply their personal information. Personal data is required, by law, to be kept safe and secure. A data breach is when personal information is accessed without authority or processed unlawfully. If an Epsom and Ewell Borough Council data breach ever occurred that affected a data subjects freedoms and rights then the council would have to let the ICO know within 72 hours and also any persons who were affected by the breach.

Introducing The Law

The European Union (EU) follows its own version of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Since Brexit, the UK no longer follows EU law. In the UK, there are multiple bodies of regulations that apply to data security and privacy. However, primarily it is UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) that this guide focuses on.

Data That Is Protected

UK GDPR does not cover all types of data. Only data that if exploited, could cause you harm in some way is covered. This is defined as personal data and special category data. We explain these below.

  • Personal data – all of the information that ties directly to you as an individual. For example, your date of birth, name, address and telephone numbers. Also, other specific data such as your financial information (debit/credit card information and bank account information).
  • Special data – all of the information that could provide information about you. For example, your ethnicity, religious beliefs, and political affiliation. Also your medical records and genome data. Additionally, your trade union memberships and any other information that can be used to glean facts about you.

Is The UK Still Under The GDPR?

Generally, the Ewell Council data protection policy has to comply with UK GDPR. The Ewell Council data collection, storage and processing protocols have to conform with applicable legislation. The council has to follow all guidelines laid out in UK GDPR, including these seven principles below.

  • Keep personal data secure
  • Your data should only be stored for a limited time.
  • Only data that is necessary for council operation should be stored.
  • Purpose limitation
  • Any errors in your data must be corrected.
  • Data controllers should be responsible for the data they collect
  • Data collection must be legal, fair and transparent.

Personal Data Breaches Affecting Local Government

Personal information collected by an organisation should be safeguarded. Data security and privacy protocols should be followed to prevent an Epsom and Ewell Borough Council data breach from occurring.

It would be nye of impossible to provide an example of every possible data breach. However below we have looked at ways that personal data has the potential to be leaked and exposed;

  • Employee sends an email containing your data to somebody who is not authorised to have it. This could be deemed a council email data breach in some cases.
  • Data breaches can involve letters. For example, you are sent the wrong letter that contains somebody else’s data.
  • A hard copy document, such as a brief containing information on community safety is circulated with some of your personal data included.
  • Old digital storage devices such as a USB stick are disposed of, but without following best practices for wiping the data first.

It is important to remember that not all data breaches that expose personally identifiable information will mean a data breach claim is eligible. The onus is on the data subject to prove that not enough was done to protect their information. Why not call our team of advisors to have your questions answered and your case assessed for free today.

Rental, Tenancy And Social Service Data Protection Errors

Public housing tenants or a family that has regular dealings with social services may have quite a bit of personal data stored about themselves. Some of the information could be sensitive and highly confidential, for that reason, it is really important that procedures and policies are in place to protect the integrity of the data subject.

We have illustrated below example scenarios of how such data could possibly be breached;

  • Physical records such as tenancy documents are left on a train.
  • A data breach over rent statements caused by an unauthorised party being shown your rent payment history.
  • Social services supply information about you or your family members to those who have no authority.
  • A private landlord is sent an information pack that contains some of your personal data.

If you are feeling a little confused about the concept of a data breach why not call our advisors. The information we provide is free with no obligation to proceed with any type of claim.

When The Information Commissioner Needs To Be Informed

You can contact the ICO if you suspect an Epsom and Ewell Borough Council data breach. However, firstly, it may be a good idea to collect more information by contacting the council. You can find out if there has been a data breach. Furthermore, if there has been one, you could ask whether your data was affected.

Secondly, you can contact the ICO. You can do this to report the data breach, or to complain that your rights under UK GDPR may not have been upheld. However, you must do this promptly. The ICO won’t generally follow up on a report or complaint that is older than three months.

Suing For A Council Data Breach

Making any kind of claim can seem a little daunting. Data breach claims may seem like a whole new topic and you may want the help of a solicitor. We would always advise that you choose a solicitor that has experience with dealing successfully in data breach claims.

Call our claims team and explain your situation to them. They will then talk through your case with you, and let you know what your legal options could be.

Examples Of Damages Which May Be Claimable

If you make a successful claim for a data breach, two sources of damages may exist. The first of these, is for trauma, stress or psychological harm. The aftermath of a serious data breach can be harrowing, especially if you face significant financial loss. This could lead to some form of mental harm in a worst case scenario. However, you don’t have to have faced monetary loss to claim for mental hardship. The Court of Appeal heard the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. in 2015. The claimants received damages for stress or mental harm, despite there being no monetary loss involved. Since this precedent has been set, you might be able to do the same.

The second source of damages could be monetary loss. There are two applicable categories of losses here. Firstly, a loss caused by your data being used unlawfully. As an example, a hacker gaining access to your debit/credit card information and then using it to buy things. Secondly, any costs associated with the claims process itself. For example, paying a document courier service, or having to pay telephone charges when dealing with your claim. In both cases, a successful claim may see these losses recouped.

How Could You Calculate Damages For An Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Data Breach?

As each claim for a data breach will be unique, we can’t provide you with an average compensation figure. You could try using our compensation calculator though, to get a rough estimate of how much you might receive in compensation for mental hardship alone. Both the calculator and table below do not take into account any financial losses. The table is based on information found in the guidelines provided by the Judicial College. These guidelines are often used by legal professionals to hone in on the amount for suffering caused.

Edit
Level of Harm Health Problem Possible Damages More Data
Moderately severe Psychiatric damage £17,900 – £51,460 Very traumatic events can cause moderately severe psychological harm. The victims’ life is probably going to be significantly affected by the symptoms. Symptoms that persist after recovery may be problematic.
Less severe Psychiatric damage Up to £5,500 A less stressful or shocking experience may cause less severe psychological damage. The victim will suffer only a minor impact on his or her life. Occasionally, trivial symptoms may persist after recovery, but won’t significantly affect life quality.
Severe Psychiatric damage £51,460 – £108,620 Repeated exposure to extremely traumatic events can result in severe psychological damage. These symptoms will greatly affect the victim’s life. It is possible for some of the major symptoms to persist after recovery, having an adverse impact on a victim’s quality of life.
Moderate Psychiatric damage £5,500 – £17,900 Traumatic events that cause moderate psychological harm. As a result of the symptoms, the victim will suffer a measurable loss of life quality. Post-recovery, the victim may suffer minor symptoms.

Claim For Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Data Breach With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

You probably have a rough idea of what a No Win No Fee arrangement is. This is a popular way for people to get legal help without paying upfront. However, you might know that you could also use a No Win No Fee lawyer to process a claim for a data breach.

You wouldn’t need to pay any fees upfront. Also, no matter how long the claim takes to process, you don’t pay ongoing fees. Additionally, if the claim fails, then your lawyer won’t ask to be paid a fee at all.

But, if the claim is won, then you will likely find a modest success fee is due. This is legally limited, and can be collected out of the compensation payment the lawyer was sent for you.

When A Solicitor Could Help

A specialist solicitor with experience in handling data breach claims, will give you the best chance of a successful claim. Furthermore, such a solicitor will be able to make sure you get the most compensation possible.

If you think you need to make a claim for a possible council data breach, call us today. Our team of expert advisors will be able to arrange for one of our lawyers to begin processing your claim for you. Furthermore, there will likely be nothing to pay upfront, as your claim will be processed under a No Win No Fee arrangement.

Contact An Expert

Thank you for reading this guide about your rights if an Epsom and Ewell Borough Council data breach was to occur. Are you at the stage where you believe a claim for a data breach could be possible? Or do you need just a little more help and advice first? Either way, contact our team using the information below.  An advisor will be ready and waiting to assist you in any way you require.

Telephone: 0800 073 8804

Use our webchat or fill in a contact request.

Learn More

These other websites all have some excellent additional information.

Reporting A Data Breach

How To Discover What Data Is Held About You

Some other guides on this site might also be worth reading.

FAQs

Here are some simple, short answers to questions you might have about data breaches. If you have any other questions that you need to have answered, call our claims team using the information in the previous section. One of our advisors will be able to provide you with all of the answers that you need.

How many security breaches are due to human error?

There are no clear stats about human error data breaches. 

What is the most common cause of a data breach?

Human error is amongst the most common cause of data breaches.

Is phishing human error?

Phishing is considered a cybercrime that involves scam emails, phone calls and text messages.

Have there been any data breaches in 2020?

Data provided by the ICO tells us that there were 22 registered data breaches in 2020.

Thank you for reading this guide about your rights if an Epsom and Ewell Borough Council data breach occurred. For a free case assessment call our claims team.

Guide 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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