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Harrogate Borough Council Data Breach Claims

This guide shall discuss the rights a person may have should a Harrogate Borough Council data breach take place. The guide shall provide you with information needed to establish the criteria for making a council data breach claim. Furthermore just because a data breach occurred does not automatically entitle a data subject, those that provide personal data to be eligible to make a claim for compensation. We shall explain this further as we go through the guide.

Can I Claim If My Private Data Was Shared By The Local Council?

Harrogate Borough Council data breach claims guide

Harrogate Borough Council data breach claims guide

Each claim has its own unique circumstances. Consequently, your claim will be founded on a set of specific facts that are partly unique. While it may share some similarities with other claims, it will not be identical. Therefore, this guide may not cover all possible questions. In any case, don’t worry if we haven’t provided all of the answers on this page, we can still help. Our claims experts can be reached at 0800 073 8804. A representative will answer all the questions you have, as well as tell you about other ways that we can help.

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A Guide About Claims Should A Harrogate Borough Council Data Breach Occur

If a Harrogate Borough Council data breach occurred would you know what steps to take following this? This guide shall provide you with the process you could take following a data breach. It may not always be clear if a data breach has occurred. Usually, the data controller, those who process a data subject’s personal information will advise you that one has taken place if it affects your rights and freedoms.

In the guide, we begin with a graph-based on statistics related to government data incidents. Using this graph, you will be able to visualise data security incidents. Following that, we have given a general definition of a data breach. Also included is an explanation of the laws in the UK dealing with data privacy.

In the next section, we evaluate a council’s legal obligations regarding data privacy in the UK. The examples provided in this section depict some of the ways a data controller can suffer a data breach.

Following that are several sections that cover the procedure for complaints and claims. Including how to lodge a complaint or report a data breach. In addition, we outline the process of filing a claim. You will also find an example compensation table and an explanation of the reasons for claiming damages. Last but not least, we will examine what a No Win No Fee solicitor is, and then look at the many benefits of using such a service to process your claim

We will conclude this guide by discussing how to begin a claim. In addition, we have provided a list of useful links and a Q&A style section.

Time Limits To Make A Claim

It is important to remember that there is a time limit within which you must begin your claim for a data breach. This time limit depends on your circumstances. To illustrate:

  • When suing a public body, you have one year to submit your claim.
  • If you are not claiming against a public body, the time limit would be six years. Or one year if it affects your human rights.

This time limit may also be influenced by other factors. We can tell you exactly what time limit will apply to your claim if you call our team.

Graphs And Statistics

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a non-departmental executive public body is responsible for policing how data controllers secure personal data of a data subject. This guide will explain the ICO’s responsibilities in more detail later on. For now, we want to give you a visual representation of data incidents in central government. Data from the ICO has been used in our analysis.

Data Breach Reasons

If a Harrogate Borough Council data breach occurred this would not automatically mean that the council was liable or that a claim would be valid. There are certain criteria that must be met for a data subject to have the right to make a data breach claim and receive compensation.

Data Breach Claims – What Are They?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs data protection in the European Union (EU). In the UK, we have our own interpretation of these laws. These regulations include the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and other regulations that make up the UK-GDPR for the United Kingdom.

All of these rules and regulations must be followed by your local authority. As a result, your private data should be protected. Nevertheless, it is possible for errors to occur and compliance to lapse. Because of this lapse, a data breach may expose your information to unauthorised access, or to use in an inappropriate manner.

In the event that you suffer stress, trauma, psychological harm, or financial loss as a result of a breach it is vital to gather evidence if you are considering making a claim. However, there is a caveat. In order to have a successful claim, the onus is on you to prove with evidence that the data controller failed in every aspect to secure your personal information.

It may not always be clear whether a data controller failed in protecting your data. For this reason, you may want the expertise of a data breach solicitor on your side.  We have claim advisors available to you around the clock, seven days a week. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us using the information at the end of this guide.

Do Local Authorities Have An Exemption From GDPR?

In order to protect your personal information, your local council must follow the UK-GDPR. A council may be liable if it fails to do this and if the failure compromised your data. In compliance with UK-GDPR, the data controllers must always follow the seven principles of GDPR. Below is a list of them:

  • Following the law, being fair, and being transparent.
  • Data minimisation.
  • Implementing storage limitations
  • Maintaining the privacy of your data.
  • Limit how your data can be used by applying purpose limitations.
  • Maintaining current and accurate data.
  • Complying with the above.

Personal data is information that can identify you alone or in combination with other information. Call us for more information.

Council Data Breaches By Type

Local authorities process private information on those that use their services. If a breach was to occur the information they hold could be breached. A lack of adequate data protection training could lead to your personal information becoming exposed. Additionally, if inadequate measures are taken to safeguard your personal information, it could be made available to others that have no authorisation. A data breach could happen in the following ways:

  • The loss or abandonment of paper records containing identifiable information.
  • Your data is displayed on a computer screen which is visible to anyone.
  • External intrusions by cybercriminals expose your data
  • Disposing of a device containing your data before fully wiping it, such as an external hard drive or USB stick.

Here at Legal Expert, we have a team of claims specialists who can assess your claim today for free. Just give our team a call and they can review your case and any evidence providing you with answers to any questions you may have.

Rent Statements And Tenancy Records Exposed

Every time you pay your rent as a council tenant, the local authority adds to the amount of data it stores about you. Additionally, a council will likely store your financial details. An example would be the details of your bank account. Below we have listed potential scenarios of how a data breach could leak personal information;

  • Rent statements were compromised as a result of a data breach. One example is when a council employee discusses your rent payment outside of work.
  • Unauthorised access is granted to sensitive Social Services data about you or your family.
  • When a landlord receives a document pack, and it contains your personal data, which was not redacted before sending.
  • Documents such as tenancy agreements were sent to the wrong address.

These are just a few potential examples. If you can not see a scenario similar to your own call our team. Through a free consultation, your case can be assessed for free.

What Should I Do If I Have A Data Related Complaint?

If a Harrogate Borough Council data breach occurred would you know how to issue a complaint? Contacting the data controller you hold responsible for allowing your data to be breached may provide you with some answers. Their response could provide evidence should you have a valid data breach claim.

Your letter should be addressed to the right department for example to the Harrogate Borough Council Data Protection Officer. The Data Protection Officer at a council is obligated to deal with your complaint. In some cases, a data breach won’t affect your personal data, so you have no reason to pursue a claim. Should the data controller not give you a proper response, you can go on to the next step. An ICO report can be filed for a data breach.

You must contact the ICO within three months of when the data breach took place or three months after your last discussion with the data controller regarding the issue. There is a likelihood that complaints made after this date will not be heard by the ICO.

Can A Council Be Sued For Compensation For A Data Breach?

A data breach is a data security incident that allows your personal information to be deleted, changed, destroyed, altered or accessed without authorisation. This can be done accidentally, unlawfully or deliberately. If a data controller has done everything in their power to protect your data it is very unlikely that a claim will be possible if your data is breached.

If a data breach at Harrogate Borough Council ever occurred in order for you to be able to claim compensation it must be determined whether they are liable for the breach. As we have said previously being the victim of a data breach does not mean you automatically qualify for compensation.

For What Could I Be Compensated?

When you make a claim for a data breach, there are two primary reasons for seeking compensation. First, any financial losses you may have incurred as a result of the data breach. Secondly, any trauma, stress, or psychological damage caused by dealing with the data breach.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you did not suffer any financial loss, you may still be able to claim psychological damage. There was a case heard in the Court of Appeal in 2015. This case involved Vidal-Hall and others v. Google Inc. As a result of the data breach, the claimants received damages for psychological harm, even though they did not incur any financial loss. This precedent could well put you in a position to do the same thing.

Next, let’s discuss financial losses caused by data breaches. Financial losses can arise in this case in two different ways.

  • There are first and foremost all of the financial losses caused by the data breach. Consider the example of a cybercriminal gaining access to your bank account and spending your savings. Alternatively, if purchases are made with your debit/credit cards.
  • A second consideration is the cost of handling any claim resulting from the data breach. You could, for example, pay for photocopies, postage stamps, telephone calls or document couriers. These costs could be claimable.

We would be happy to speak with you about the reasons you may be able to pursue damages if your data was breached. Give our claims team a call today.

How To Calculate Compensation For A Harrogate Borough Council Data Breach

It is impossible to give an average figure for the amount of compensation you might receive if you bring a claim for a data breach. The reason is that each claim is unique. Below is a table that shows possible ranges of compensation though. We based this table on the guidelines for valuing injuries produced by the Judicial College.

Severity Health Issue Potential Damages More Info
Less severe Psychiatric issues Up to £5,500 We would include all less severe mental disorders in this category. Some form of shock, such as a traumatic event, probably led to this. The victim may fully recover after some time, but they may have ongoing mental health issues that affect their lives in some way.
Moderately severe Psychiatric issues £17,900 – £51,460 Psychiatric damage that is moderately severe would be included here. An event that causes trauma could potentially cause this. He or she is likely to experience ongoing symptoms post-recovery, possibly into the long term.
Severe Psychiatric issues £51,460 – £108,620 All severe mental damage would be placed in this category. Most likely, this was the result of repeated traumatizing experiences. There would almost certainly be ongoing mental health problems, potentially for the rest of his or her life.
Moderate Psychiatric issues £5,500 – £17,900 We would place all moderate psychiatric damage in this category. There could be some form of stressful or shocking event that triggers this. It is likely that the victim may recover in time, although there may be ongoing, yet trivial symptoms after recovery.

To find out how much in damages you could potentially claim, please call our team today. You can ask one of our advisors to assist in getting a solicitor to value your claim on your behalf.

No Win No Fee Claims For Council Data Breaches

It is very likely that you have heard or seen the expression No Win No Fee. The meaning of it may even be clear to you.

Simply put, you would engage a lawyer to process your claim for you, and you would not need to pay them anything in fees until the claim is won. We will not require you to put up a retainer, and we won’t charge you ongoing fees throughout the claim process.

Should the claim be successful, a modest success fee will probably be due. The amount of which is legally limited. However, this can be deducted from the compensation payment that your solicitor will receive for you.

Finding Data Breach Lawyers

Should a Harrogate Borough Council data breach take place then our team could help you. We can assist you by evaluating your claim, and then we will arrange for a data breach lawyer to begin working on it for you.

All you have to do is contact an advisor to get started. Our advisors will walk you through our new claim process once you have explained your situation.

Get Started With Your Claim

Thank you for reading our guide about steps to take if a Harrogate Borough Council data breach took place. Upon request, our advisors will be able to arrange for a solicitor to begin working on your claim immediately. Get in touch with us using the information below. An advisor will be ready and waiting to provide you with the help you need.

Telephone: 0800 073 8804

Use our webchat or fill in a contact request.

Links To Additional Resources

You might also want to check out these other guides.

You can find more relevant information by visiting some of these external links.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few simple answers to questions you might have about your data breach claim. If you still have unanswered questions, you can call and speak to our claims team. They are ready and waiting to help you further.

Subject access requests: what are they?

In a subject access request, you exercise your right to find out what information a data controller stores about you.

Subject access requests can be made by whom?

Generally, everyone has the right to request access to their personal data, which a data controller holds on you.

In the case of noncompliance with a SAR, what happens?

If an organisation fails to respond you can complain to the organisation and inform the ICO.

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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