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Imperial College London Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Imperial College London Data Breach

What Is A Data Breach By Imperial College London?

If an organisation stores lots of cash, they will probably invest heavily in security measures to keep it safe. However, another commodity that is really valuable if it gets into the wrong hands is personal information. In line with new laws, organisations that control such information also need to take steps to protect it. This article is going to look at why making data breach claims against Imperial College London might be needed and what harm could result from such a breach.

Imperial College London data breach claims guide

Imperial College London data breach claims guide

The new laws that we mentioned are the General Data Protection Regulation, which you may know as the GDPR, and The Data Protection Act 2018. Both of these laws place a duty on companies who need to use your personal information (data controllers) to implement measures to keep it safe.

They also need to explain why they want to use your information and what it will be used for. If they breach the new legislation, and a data breach occurs, they could be hit with a financial penalty from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Moreover, if you can prove the breach caused you to suffer in any way, you could claim compensation.

If you have decided to start a claim, then Legal Expert can help. We provide free legal advice during a no-obligation telephone assessment of your case. In cases where the claim appears viable, the advisor could connect you to one of our data breach solicitors. If they agree to take on a claim, they will manage it on a No Win No Fee basis.

For advice on starting a claim straight away, please call on 0800 073 8804 today. Alternatively, please carry on reading if you would like more information on claiming for a privacy breach.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against Imperial College London

In the digital age that we live in today, you’d expect the GDPR to be concerned with data breaches caused by cybercrimes, computer hacks, ransomware, phishing emails or viruses. While it does cover incidents of those nature that lead to personal data being exposed, it also covers other types of documentation. For instance, a data breach could happen simply because a filing cabinet was left unlocked and its files were stolen in a robbery.

One of the key roles of the GDPR is to give you more control over your personal information. If any organisation wishes to use your data, not only have they got to tell you why, but they also have to get your permission to do so.

That’s why you’ll see a lot more tick boxes on application forms or pop-up boxes when you sign up for a new website. Once you have shared your data privacy preferences, the data controller must adhere to them and only use your information as you’ve allowed. At the same time, they must take steps to protect the data. If they fail to do so, and a data leak causes you harm, then you could take steps to claim a compensation settlement from them.

In normal circumstances, claims must be submitted within a 6-year time frame. However, you should be aware that if the claim involves a breach of your human rights, you will only have a 1-year time limit. You may find it easier to recall the incident and how it affected you if you start the claim as soon as you can. Moreover, a data breach solicitor may have more luck gaining access to supporting evidence the sooner they begin their search.

When you’re ready to begin, please call the number above to talk to an advisor.

What Is A Data Breach By Imperial College London?

As discussed earlier, while data breaches may be more likely to involve digital data, they can also happen because of physical documentation. For example, if a letter containing information that could be used to identify you is sent to the wrong postal address, a data breach may have occurred.

The definition of data breaches within the GDPR is where a security problem causes personal information to be altered, disclosed, lost, destroyed or accessed using methods that have not been consented to.

Whether the breach is caused by an accidental, deliberate or illegal act doesn’t matter – the ICO could still investigate and fine the organisation responsible.

At the time a data breach is identified, the data controller needs to begin an internal investigation. They need to identify how the breach occurred, what data was accessed, and when it took place. Then they should inform any data subjects who could be at risk as well as self-referring the case to the ICO.

To ask our advice on a data breach that affected you, please get in touch with one of our specialists today.

GDPR And Data Protection At Universities

Because universities manage personal information relating to their students, alumni and staff, they are generally defined as data controllers in terms of the GDPR. That means that they have to able to show that they comply with the following principles relating to data processing:

  • All acts of data processing should be legal. At the same time, they should be obvious to the data subject as well as fair.
  • The data subject has to be informed about why their data is required.
  • The minimum amount of data should be processed.
  • If personal information is required to be stored, then it should be kept up to date.
  • There is no limit on how long personal information is retained, but it mustn’t be kept any longer than is necessary.
  • All processing should be secure and confidential.

University Data Breaches

In this part of our guide, we are going to look at the Blackbaud hack which impacted a number of educational establishments and charities. Blackbaud provides software to higher education establishments and is used predominantly to handle communications with previous students.

The company hosts some of this software in the cloud and it was this service that was affected by a cyberattack. The company became aware that servers had been accessed when a ransom was demanded by criminals. Upon inspection, it found that some of its backup data had been illegally downloaded.

As is required in these cases, the company informed the customers who were affected so that they could raise the issue with anybody affected. The data that was thought to have been breached included personal contact information, degree results, information relating to relationships with the university and also career information.

While it is unusual to do so, Blackbaud paid the ransom. By doing so, they were given assurances that the stolen data was deleted.


Statistics On Cybersecurity Breaches In Universities

While we have provided evidence that university data breaches have occurred recently, you might be wondering if they are really that common. A recent study has been conducted by a data security company based on responses from 86 universities. Some of the statistics revealed by the report might surprise you. They found that:

  • In the last year, over half of the universities had reported data breaches to the ICO (54%).
  • More than a quarter had never asked a security specialist to try and identify security flaws in their IT infrastructure (27%).
  • Just over half of the respondents said their students receive proactive data security training (51%).
  • The average budget, per university, for training staff on data safety awareness, was only £7,529 per year.
  • Almost half of university staff had not been properly trained on data safety issues within the last year (46%).

Report details:

You might be shocked by some of those number based on the sensitive information universities could be responsible for. Not only will they hold personal information relating to their students, staff and sometimes alumni, but the research being conducted could also hold sensitive information as well.

Criminal Cybersecurity Breaches

We have shown that evidence exists that university data breaches are more common than ever. As educational establishments have a legal duty to protect any personal information that they are responsible for, what steps could they take to try and prevent further breaches in the future? Here are some standard industry measures that could be implemented:

  • Keeping all hardware, software and apps up to date.
  • Using third party IT security companies to assess the network and physical security in a university to spot weaknesses before cybercriminals do.
  • Training staff, students and contractors on data security techniques.
  • Using encrypted devices to prevent information from being accessed in the event of a loss or theft.
  • Maintaining data protection policies and ensuring they are updated regularly.

Whilst it might appear an expensive business, investing in data security could save money in the long term. It could help prevent students and staff from being put at risk and, at the same time, could stop the university from being fined by the ICO.

Negotiating What Compensation Your Settlement Could Include

Claims for compensation relating to data breaches are usually made up of two main parts. The first is called material damages which is the claim you make to cover any financial losses you have incurred. The second is known as non-material damages. This type of compensation aims to cover any pain, suffering or loss of amenity that has resulted from psychiatric injuries that have been sustained as a direct result of the data breach.

A solicitor will need to consider the future impact that might be caused by a data breach when trying to settle the claim with the defendant. The reason that’s the case is that only a single compensation claim is allowed. After you have reached an agreement and settled the case, you can’t return for more compensation later on.

Therefore, if we consider financial losses, the first part of the claim will cover the money that you’ve already lost because of the data breach. In addition, you will need to consider if those losses could increase later on. For instance, if your personal details have been circulated on the dark web, you might find they continue to be used by criminals performing identity theft for many months or years.

In a similar way, it is possible that as well as being diagnosed with psychological injuries at the time of your claim, an independent medical specialist might be used to try and identify if there are going to be any longer-term problems. These could include anxiety, depression or stress which could affect your ability to cope with life or work.

If your claim is taken on, our data breach solicitors will work diligently to try and make sure every aspect of your suffering is included before your claim is submitted, so please call us if you’re ready to begin.

Calculate Claims For Data Breaches By Imperial College London

We’d now like to look at the amount of compensation that could be paid for data breach claims. We should tell you that a ruling in the Court of Appeal case, Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], means that is possible to claim for psychiatric injuries (anxiety, stress, depression etc) caused by a data breach even if you suffered no financial losses. The same ruling recommended that compensation for such psychological harm should be valued with reference to personal injury claims.

To illustrate how much might be awarded, we have supplied you with the table below. It has information relating to relevant injuries as listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG supplies data to courts and legal professionals which can be used to help determine settlement amounts.

Type of Suffering
Severity LevelCompensation
Additional Information
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe£56,180 to £94,470
The permanent effect of PTSD symptoms will prevent a return to work or functioning at anything like previous levels.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate£7,680 to £21,730In these cases, the claimant will have almost fully recovered and any ongoing symptoms won't be serious.
Psychiatric DamageSevere£5,500 to £17,900
A very poor prognosis will be given in these cases. The claimant will suffer with work, life and relationships, they will be vulnerable in the future and treatment probably won't help.
Psychiatric DamageLess severe
Up to £5,500
Similar to the previous category but with a more optimistic prognosis.

So that you can prove the extent of your suffering, you will need to participate in a local medical assessment as part of your claim.  An independent specialist will conduct the assessment by asking questions and reviewing medical records.

Once the appointment has ended, the specialist will record their findings in a report that will be sent directly to your solicitor, who’ll use it as evidence to prove your case.

How To Make A Claim If Impacted By A Data Protection Breach

So far, we have shown you why you could claim for a data breach, what you could claim for and the amount of compensation that could be paid. Now it’s time to help you find a solicitor. In many cases, you might be tempted to scour online reviews, look for a local lawyer or ask friends or colleagues to recommend a solicitor. However, there is a simpler and less time-consuming way – calling Legal Expert.

When you get in touch, you can ask for as much free advice as you need. If you explain what has happened to one of our data breach advisors, and they believe your claim is viable, you could be connected with one of our specialist data breach solicitors. If they take the claim on, your solicitor will provide you with updates as soon as there is any progress and be available to answer any queries. Ultimately, your solicitor will endeavour to achieve the highest amount of compensation possible for your claim.

Please get in touch with us today if you have any additional questions about how we could support your claim.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Imperial College London

There are many people who put off starting a claim because they worry about how much the process could cost them. We understand that so, to provide access to justice with reduced financial risk, our team of experienced solicitors provide a No Win No Fee service for every claim they take on.

When you start the claims process by contacting us, a solicitor does need to spend a little time reviewing your chances of claiming successfully. If they decide that the case can be taken on, when you are ready to begin, you will be supplied with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)—another name for a No Win No Fee agreement.

The CFA is used to fund your claim. It shows you what work the solicitor will do for you and explains that:

  • Upfront payments are not required – meaning the case can begin almost right away.
  • Solicitor’s fees will not be requested when the case is being processed.
  • Should your claim be unsuccessful, there won’t be any solicitor’s fees to pay.

Should your claim lead to a positive outcome, your solicitor will deduct a small amount of your compensation to cover the cost of their work. The ‘success fee’ is a percentage of your compensation which is listed within your CFA for clarity. For your peace of mind, we should let you know that such fees are capped legally.

If you are interested in claiming on a No Win No Fee basis, why not ask for more details by calling the number at the top of the page?

Speaking To Data Breach Claim Experts

You are nearing the end of our article about data breach claims against Imperial College London. We hope that we can help you if you have now decided to start a claim today. If that’s the case, and you want to get in touch, then you can:

  • Call 0800 073 8804 for an assessment of your case with free claims advice.
  • Email details of what has happened and how you have suffered to
  • Ask for a call back when you start a claim using this online form.
  • Let an online advisor know about your claim in our live chat facility.

We will always be open and honest about your chances of claiming when you get in touch. To begin the process, an advisor will examine any evidence and listen to what has happened. If they suspect your case might be strong enough, they could put you through to a specialist data breach solicitor. If they agree to take your claim on, it will be funded using a No Win No Fee agreement.

Resources For Data Breach Claimants

Thanks for taking the time to read our article on data breach claims against Imperial College London. We have tried to ensure that you have all the information you’ll need to help you begin a claim. In this section, we have added some useful links which might be helpful if you start your own legal proceedings. Additionally, to show you the other types of claims we could help you with in the future, you’ll find some more of our guides here too. Please feel free to let an advisor know if you require any further information.

Anxiety UK – A charity that has experts available to help anybody who is dealing with anxiety.

Data Protection Guide – This is a hub of information from the ICO explaining how organisations can meet their data protection duties.

Motorcycle Accident Claims – Information on how our lawyers could help you claim for injuries sustained in a motorbike accident.

Negligent Doctor Claims – Details on how to report a negligent doctor and claim for suffering caused by their negligence.

Work-related Stress – A guide that shows when you might be eligible to seek compensation for suffering related to stress at work.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Thank you for reading our guide to data breach claims against Imperial College London.


Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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      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.