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Gosport Borough Council Data Breach Claims

This guide will look at the procedures you could opt to take if a Gosport Borough Council data breach arose. The Data Protection Act 2018 applied the European Union’s GDPR. Since leaving the EU we now refer to the UK General Data Protection Regulation. The DPA has effectively been updated as per the UK’s withdrawal in January 2021. Together they help to protect personal data. This can be anything that might help to identify you like your name, address or phone number. These laws fall under the remit of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Their role allows them to issue massive penalties to those who break the laws, but they can’t compensate individuals who’ve been affected by data breaches. For that reason, you’d need to take action yourself.

If you are thinking of starting a claim, Legal Expert is able to help. Our service includes a telephone consultation and legal advice on a no-obligation basis. However, if your case is strong enough, we could appoint one of our data breach lawyers to it. Importantly, they could help you claim data breach compensation for any stress and financial losses on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you would like to talk about claiming right away, please call us on 0800 073 8804 today. Otherwise, please continue reading to learn about your rights relating to council data breaches.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide On How To Claim For A Gosport Council Data Breach
  2. Statistics From The Cyber Security Survey
  3. What Could Be Claims Should A Gosport Council Data Breach Occur?
  4. Gosport Borough Council And The GDPR
  5. Types Of Personal Information Which Could Be Leaked
  6. Social Service And Housing Data Protection
  7. Who Are Borough Council Data Breaches Reported To?
  8. The Data Breach Compensation Claims Procedure
  9. How Your Payout Could Be Made Up
  10. How To Value Claims For Council Data Breaches
  11. No Win No Fee Solicitors For A Gosport Council Data Breach
  12. How Could A Specialist Data Protection Lawyer Help Me?
  13. Talk To A Specialist Solicitor For A Gosport Council Data Breach
  14. Supporting Resources
  15. FAQs About The GDPR

A Guide On How To Claim For A Gosport Council Data Breach

Gosport Borough Council Data Breach Claims Guide

Before we move on to look at what may be considered a council data breach in more detail, we need to discuss time limits. That’s because claims involving public bodies like local councils can have as little as 1-year start time limit (this is less than the 6-years available in some other claims). Therefore, you’ll need to act swiftly as solicitors will need some time to review the case and gather supporting evidence. Please get in touch to clarify how long you have to make your claim.

Claiming for a data breach can include anxiety, stress, depression and other mental illnesses. Additionally, if criminals are involved, there could be money problems that result from the breach as well. Therefore, we’ll explain when you might have the right to claim as we progress through this guide. We’ll also review the claims process and explain what amount of compensation might be payable.

If at any point you have any questions or you are unsure about your eligibility to claim, please get in touch. We offer free advice so that you can make an informed decision before proceeding with legal action.

Statistics From The Cyber Security Survey

Over the last few years, the government has carried out a study into cybersecurity data breaches. While the latest figures were skewed a little by the Coronavirus pandemic, some of the numbers are still quite startling. The report shows that:

  • 39% of the businesses who responded said they’d had a cybersecurity breach in the last year.
  • 26% of charities were also affected.
  • The most common form of attack was phishing emails (83% for businesses and 79% for charities).
  • 27% of the businesses who’d been attacked and 23% of charities said that the attacks happened at least once a week.
  • Of those businesses and charities affected, around 1 in 5 said they’d lost money, data or other assets because of the breaches.

What Could Be Claims Should A Gosport Council Data Breach Occur?

The definition of a personal data breach, according to GDPR documentation is where some form of security problem causes information that could identify somebody to be disclosed, lost, changed, accessed or destroyed deliberately or unlawfully.

Importantly, you won’t have grounds to make a claim every time a data breach occurs. Instead, to claim for a data breach, you would need to show that the data controller did not adhere to GDPR, the Data Protection Act and allowed your data to be exposed because there was a failure to protect it.

As an example, if you were harmed because hackers attacked a council’s IT systems:

  • You may be able to claim if a council had not updated its security software for a long time.
  • You might not be able to proceed with legal action if a council’s security policy was strong and had been adhered to.

Should a Gosport Borough Council data breach take place are you familiar with the process you may need to follow if your data was to be affected? We understand that it can be tricky to decide whether you’ll be able to claim. That’s why we offer a free telephone consultation. Therefore, why not call today and let us review your options for you?

Gosport Borough Council And The GDPR

If the council begins a new task or project, they may need to check that there’s a lawful basis to process personal data if it is needed. However, if there is another way to proceed without using personal information, the lawful basis may not be obtained.

Generally, any personal data that’s processed electronically automatically falls within the scope of the GDPR. That’s also true for paper records that contain personal information.

When processing personal data, in general, the data controller must abide with the GDPR’s 7 principles. They are that:

  • Processing is lawful, obvious and transparent.
  • The minimum amount of personal information should be collected.
  • Purpose limited
  • All personal information should be accurate.
  • Personal data must never be kept for longer than it’s required.
  • The security of personal data must always be considered.
  • Comply with these principles.

It may not always be obvious if a Gosport Borough Council data breach was to ever take place. If you’d like to know about data breaches that could put you at risk why not call our team? They are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to take your call.

Types Of Personal Information Which Could Be Leaked

What could constitute a data breach at Gosport Borough Council? Data breaches can happen for all kinds of different reasons, some are accidental while others are deliberate. Below we look at scenarios of data breaches so that you can get an idea of what one may entail;

  • Where adoption records are shared without a lawful basis.
  • Emailing or posting a letter containing personally identifiable information to the wrong person.
  • Where a bulk email is sent without using the BCC field and recipients are identifiable by their email address.
  • Uploading personal data about individuals to a public website.
  • Where employees discuss a client’s case and are overheard in a public waiting area.
  • If a member of staff looks up a friends or relatives details without any business reason to do so.

Just because a data breach has occurred will not mean a data subject could qualify for compensation. If a data controller has procedures and systems in place to protect your data should a data breach occur they may not be liable.

Data breaches that affect the rights of an individual must be reported to the ICO within 72-hours. Also, those individuals must also be informed about the incident without undue delay.

Social Service And Housing Data Protection

Many different departments within a local authority might need to retain personal data about clients. Without it, functioning efficiently would be quite difficult. However, since the new data protection laws came into effect, any such data must be stored as securely as possible. Some examples of some of the documents councils might retain include:

  • Identification documents. During the application for housing, you might be asked to supply photographic ID. Therefore, scans or photocopies of passports or similar might be stored.
  • Tenancy agreements. These will likely contain personal information about the tenant and their property.
  • Social services records. Information relating to those cared for by the council are likely to contain data that could identify them.

If a council fails to keep any such information secure, could the data subject sue them if a data breach occurred that caused them mental and financial harm? We can check through your case with you to see if you might be eligible to start a claim.

Who Are Borough Council Data Breaches Reported To?

As we have said, the ICO has legal powers that let it investigate any potential data breach. It may be a good idea to let them know about your case.

If you do decide to claim with us, your solicitor will let you know whether the ICO’s intervention is needed. Before you report the incident to them, though, you may want to follow these steps:

  1. Complain formally to the council and wait for their reply.
  2. Escalate the complaint if you’re not happy with the initial outcome.
  3. If 3-months have not yet passed since you heard anything meaningful, and you’re still not happy, you can ask the ICO to investigate.

Again, the ICO can reprimand companies who’ve failed to adhere to the rules. They can’t however issue compensation. If you’d like to know more about your options, please feel free to call our advice line.

The Data Breach Compensation Claims Procedure

Just to recover what we’ve said already, let’s quickly reiterate the claims process:

  1. Complain to the council if you believe their actions have resulted in a data breach that has caused you to suffer.
  2. Retain their reply and gather any other evidence you might have. This may consist of medical records or financial statements.
  3. Contact our team for your free case review.

If a Gosport Borough Council data breach happened then Legal Expert is here to answer any questions you may have. They can offer a free initial consultation so that your case can be reviewed.

How Your Payout Could Be Made Up

When compensation is sought for the harm caused by a data breach, it needs to be fully justified. Furthermore, evidence needs to be in place to explain the damages you are claiming for. Within a case you can claim for:

  • Material damages. This is compensation for any financial impact caused by the breach.
  • Non-material damages. The compensation covering any distress caused by the incident. Claims could include injuries such as depression, anxiety or stress.

As an example, material damages might be claimed for if money has been taken from your bank account by cybercriminals. Similarly, if your doctor has said that a mental illness has been caused by the breach, you could claim for non-material damages as well.

What’s important here, though, is to think about any suffering that may continue into the future. To help understand the longer-term impact of the data breach, you may need a medical assessment as part of your claim. It will usually be arranged locally and carried out by an independent medical specialist. They will discuss how you’ve suffered and read through your medical records. Once the meeting has ended, they’ll record your injuries and a prognosis in a medical report.

As you can see, a lot of thought is required before you submit your claim. This is important as only one claim can be made. Therefore, we’d suggest that your chances of receiving the correct level of compensation will improve with a solicitor on your side.

If you would like us to check whether you could be represented by one of our data breach solicitors, why not get in touch today?

How To Value Claims For Council Data Breaches

Let’s now take a look at what level of compensation might be awarded if you’ve suffered due to a data breach. Before we do, it’s important to look at some legal cases that provide guidance in such claims. They are:

  1. Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] (Court of Appeal). The court ruled that compensation should be considered where claimants had suffered mental injuries (whether they’d suffered financially or not).
  2. Gulati & Others v MGN Limited [2015]. In this case, the court ruled that claims for mental injuries should be paid in reference to personal injury cases.

Therefore, we have supplied the compensation table below that uses data from the Judicial College. This is the system legal professionals use when settling personal injury claims.

Type of Claim Severity Compenation
Mental Harm (stress, anxiety, depression etc) Severe £51,460 to £108,620
Moderately Severe £17,900 to £51,460
Moderate £5,500 to £17,900
Less Severe Up to £5,500
Suffering Caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe £56,180 to £94,470
Moderately Severe £21,730 to £56,180
Moderate £7,680 to £21,730
Less Severe Up to £7,680

For a more thorough assessment of what your data breach claim might be worth, please call our team today.

No Win No Fee Solicitors For A Gosport Council Council Data Breach

We often speak with clients who are worried about claiming compensation. Their biggest concern is often about losing money on solicitor’s fees. To help reduce that worry, our solicitor’s provide a No Win No Fee service for any case they take on. That means you won’t pay them unless you are paid compensation.

If a solicitor is happy to work on your case, they’ll supply a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to you. This contract will fund your solicitor and sets out what needs to happen before you’ll pay your solicitor for their work.

The CFA will explain about the success fee payable if you do receive compensation. Rather than you having to send money to pay this fee, it is a fixed percentage (capped by law) of any compensation you receive. The success fee will be used to cover your solicitor’s work, time and expenses.

To check if you’re able to use our No Win No Fee service, please call our advice line today.

How Could A Specialist Data Protection Lawyer Help Me?

Should a Gosport Borough Council data breach happen our team can advise you on what steps you may need to take. Our team are all registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Importantly, only cases with a reasonable chance of being won will be taken on and they’ll be handled using our No Win No Fee service.

To make everything easier for you, we can deal with claims over the phone, by email and online. If you would like to see what others have said about us, why not take a look at our reviews page before calling?

Talk To A Specialist Solicitor For A Gosport Council Data Breach

Having read this article on steps to take should a Gosport Borough Council data breach occur, we hope everything is now a little clearer. Why not get in touch? To do so, you could:

We know how busy life can be. Therefore, we have a 24-hour claims line that’s open 7-days a week. When you get in touch, we’ll listen to what’s happened and offer free legal advice about your options. Remember, any claim our solicitor’s take on will be processed on a No Win No Fee basis.

Supporting Resources

To help you further, this section contains a few links to resources and similar guides that could prove useful:

Meet The Commissioner – Details about the current Information Commissioner and the role within data protection.

Types Of Anxiety – This guide from charity Anxiety UK explains the many forms anxiety can take.

Freedom Of Information Requests – A government guide on how to apply for data under the Freedom of Information Act.

Lost Medical Information – A guide that shows when you could claim for any harm caused if your medical records are lost.

Social Care Data Breaches – Advice on your options if a social services data breach affects you.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Information on when PTSD could be caused by a data breach.

Other Guides You Can Read

FAQs About The GDPR

As we have reached the end of our guide on procedures you could follow should a Gosport Borough Council data breach take place, in this section, we have answered a few frequently asked questions.

What are UK GDPR fines?

If a company that processes personal data is found guilty of infringing the UK GDPR or the Data Protection Act, the ICO could fine them. The rules state that fines of up to £17.5 million or 4% of the company’s turnover are allowed. These fines are not retained by the ICO. Instead, they are transferred to HM Treasury’s Consolidated Fund.

What does a data protection officer do?

A Data Protection Officer (DPO) helps their organisation to comply with data protection laws like the UK GDPR. They will help with monitoring and provide advice on compliance. They will also act as the main point of contact for data protection enquiries.

Thank you for visiting Legal Expert to read our guide on your rights following a potential Gosport Borough Council data breach.

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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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