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Ipswich Borough Council Data Breach – Compensation Claims Guide

Ipswich Borough Council services have a responsibility to keep your personal data safe. In short, this is a legal requirement. To prevent an Ipswich Borough Council data breach from occurring the data controller will have policies and procedures in place to ensure your personal data is secure. In this guide, we shall examine what data breaches are and how if caused by a failure to protect your data could result in a compensation claim.

Ipswich Borough council data breach claims guide

Ipswich Borough council data breach claims guide

Your claim will be based on a unique set of facts. It might be similar to other data breach claims, but it won’t be entirely the same. Unfortunately, we cannot hope to cover every possible scenario in one guide. And this guide might not address all of your questions because of this. However, we still have you covered, and our claims team can provide any answers that are lacking. Our claims line is open 365 days a year, all day and all night. Call 0800 073 8804 to speak with a claim advisor whenever suits you.

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A Guide To Claims Should An Ipswich Borough Council Data Breach Happen

This guide is focused on the rights data subjects, those whose data is processed by an organisation (data controller) has, should an Ipswich Borough Council Data Breach arise. We will do this by giving examples of potential data breach cases, and explaining how they could lead to a claim.

The first couple of sections of this guide lay some background. We have added a graph that shows how data breaches happen in local government. This is followed by an overview of what a data breach claim is, and why yours could be valid. Applicable laws are introduced, and we also cover the types of data these laws are intended to protect.

Moving on, we look at how your local authority has to comply with relevant laws in keeping your data safe. We support this part of the guide with some example scenarios of how data breaches could happen.

The next logical step is to talk about what to do if your data has been breached. We have covered the process of reporting a data breach, as well as claiming for a data breach.

If you do intend to make a claim, you need to understand the financial implications of doing so. We cover this as well. You will find an explanation of why you could seek damages, and also a compensation table. Furthermore, the way that a No Win No Fee arrangement works is explained.

The last sections of this guide give some information about how we could help you. And we close this guide with some useful reference links and a short questions and answers section.

Are There Claim Time Limits?

If you do have valid grounds to make a data breach claim, you need to do so within a specific time limit. And it is the particulars of your claim that will set this time limit.

Generally, data breach claims need to be started within six years. However, as the council is considered a public body, this time limit will almost definitely be reduced to one year.

There are, however, external factors that might have some impact on the claim deadline. To find out exactly what your claim time limit will be, call and talk to our claims team.

Are Cyber Security Incidents On The Rise?

The supervisory authority responsible for data privacy and security regulation in the UK is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). A little further down the page, we will cover the ICO in more detail. Here, we are just going to refer to some of the data breach information published by the ICO to create the table below. This simple bar graph visualises security incidents that are non-cyber in local government from the first quarter of the financial year.

Data Security Breaches

Data Security Breaches

What Could Be Breaches Of Data Protection By Ipswich Borough Council?

Generally, your local authority has to comply with rules and regulations that are in place to protect your data. So to prevent an Ipswich Borough Council data breach it will need to comply with updated legislation and regulations that you will see just below. A data breach is when a data security incident takes place that allows personally identifiable information to be accessed unlawfully, disclosed, altered, destroyed or lost.

Key Legislation

Prior to Brexit, the UK followed the same General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as the European Union (EU). Now, the UK has since updated their data protection legislation. Here we would include the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and all of the regulations that make up UK GDPR.

Protected Data

There are two categories of data that privacy and security laws specifically cover. These are personal data and special data. Both of these have been explained below.

  • Personal data – all unique data that applies to you individually. Therefore, information such as your name, address and date of birth, as examples. And also other key facts such as credit card and bank account information. Additionally, some forms of medical records could be considered personal data.
  • Special data – this is all information that can’t be tied to you in an identifying manner. Here, we would include things like your race, and your political and religious beliefs. Your sexual persuasion and gender information would also fit within the special data category. Furthermore, information such as memberships of trade unions or political parties would be special data.

Should an Ipswich Borough Council data breach take place Legal Expert can provide free advice and a case assessment. Here you can have as many questions as you have answered in a short no-obligation consultation. Our advisors can assess the chance of your case succeeding in a data breach claim.

How Does UK GDPR Data Protection In Local Government Work?

When it comes to the legal and fair processing of personal data, generally, your local council has to follow UK GDPR. If compliance fails, this could expose your data to unlawful use or access. As part of its commitment to data privacy and security, data controllers must generally follow the seven key concepts of GDPR. And these are covered below.

  • All actions related to personal or special data must be carried out lawfully, transparently and fairly.
  • All protected data must be kept secure at all times.
  • Data must be corrected when found to be wrong.
  • Limits should be placed on the volume of data stored.
  • Take responsibility for protecting data.
  • A limit should be placed on the ways that data is processed.
  • Your data should only be stored for a finite amount of time.

Types Breaches In Data Protection By A Local Council

Would you be able to spot if an Ipswich Borough Council data breach happened? Data breaches can occur simply by human error. Others can be the result of a targeted cyber attack. For your understanding we have provided potential examples of how personal data could be breached;

  • No data awareness training is given by a data controller – an employee proceeds to provide personal information of a data subject to those who have no authority or lawful basis to access it.
  • Lost records or files containing your data are found in a public place. Meaning that anyone could have accessed it.
  • An email data breach is caused by a member of staff attaching your data to an email and sending it to an unauthorised recipient.
  • A cybercriminal successfully exploits a vulnerability in the data controller’s cybersecurity system and gains access to your personal or special data.

These are all valid examples of how a data breach claim could arise. However, that said not all breaches will lead to those who are affected being eligible for data breach compensation. A claim is only made valid when the data subject can prove using evidence the data controller failed to take all necessary steps to protect personal information.

Breaches Of Tenants Rent Payment Statements

Public housing tenants will have generally quite a bit of personal information stored about them within council files. If a housing association data breach happened it may mean this information could be leaked into the wrong hands.

Some examples below show how a breach of tenancy documents could potentially occur;

  • Digital documents such as scans of tenancy audit documents are left open on a computer screen for anyone to look at.
  • Physical paperwork such as tenancy documents is left on a desk where anyone can view it.
  • Digital rent statement files are accessed because the cyber security system had been hacked because for many years it had not been updated.
  • A memory stick containing vital personal information such as rent payment records was left on a bus and was not encrypted.

Should an Ipswich Borough Council data breach arise our claims team can help. Call our team any time of the day or night, any day of the week, they are waiting to provide answers to any questions you may have.

Should You Make A Data Breach Notification To The ICO?

If you suspect an Ipswich Borough Council data breach, there are a couple of things you can do. The first of these is to contact a Data Protection Officer (DPO) at the council. There might not be a DPO available though, not every council has one. And some councils might have more than one. You can ask the DPO whether there has been a data breach. If there has, they can tell you if your data has been affected by it.

Next, you can consider making a data breach notification to the ICO. You can contact the ICO and report a possible data breach. You can also report a failure to uphold your rights under the GDPR. If, for instance, your enquiries were not answered. But, your last meaningful enquiry will need to have happened within the last three months. Otherwise, the ICO will likely not follow up on the complaint.

Check How The Claims Process Work

Data breach solicitors can bring many advantages to a case for a data protection breach. They have been trained specifically in these areas of civil law and will have past experiences they can apply to your case. Having a solicitor is optional but do you really have the time a case like this needs? Why not leave it all to the solicitor who has the capabilities needed for a data breach claim.

Our team of expert claims lawyers can start the data breach claims process for you today. Give our team a call today to get your claim started.

How Your Settlement Could Be Valued

If your claim for a data breach is a success, you could potentially claim damages for two main reasons. Having personal information leaked in a data breach can be traumatic and stressful. Especially if you have encountered a significant level of financial loss. Therefore, you may be able to claim for mental damage. There was a case heard at the Court of Appeal in 2015, Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. This case resulted in the claimants receiving compensation for mental damage, even though they did not lose out financially. Fundamentally, this set the precedent for you doing the same.

Financial loss is the second reason for claiming damages. If you have become the victim of a malicious data breach, your information could be used to steal your identity. Identity theft may mean a cybercriminal can access your bank accounts, use your cards, etc. This could end up leaving you facing a very high level of debt. On top of these, are the costs of dealing with the claim itself. For example, you may need to pay for phone calls, photocopying, postage, etc. Both of these types of financial loss could potentially be claimed for.

How Do You Calculate Damages For An Ipswich Borough Council Data Breach?

We can’t give you an average figure for the amount of compensation you might win. Because each claim is unique in some way. However, you can use the table below to get a rough idea of how much you might get. The Judicial College produces guidelines that we based the table on. You can also try using our compensation calculator.

Level of DamageMental ProblemLikely Level of DamagesAdditional Data
Moderately severePsychiatric harm£17,900 - £51,460An overall classification covering moderately severe psychological harm. An event that was highly traumatic possibly resulted in this damage. You would very probably suffer a severely compromised quality of life due to the mental condition. Even after therapy, there would most likely be some continuing mental health condition.
Less severePsychiatric harmUp to £5,500An overall classification covering less severe psychological harm. Facing shocking events that were somewhat traumatic probably caused this harm. You would potentially suffer a mildly compromised quality of life due to the psychological problems. However, you should recover almost fully in time.
SeverePsychiatric harm£51,460 - £108,620An overall classification covering severe psychological harm. Facing multiple events that were highly traumatic probably caused this damage. You would almost definitely suffer a severely compromised quality of life due to the psychological issues. Even after therapy, there would be some continuing mental health problems.

No Win No Fee Solicitors For An Ipswich Borough Council Data Breach

It could be possible for us to arrange for a lawyer to process your data breach claim under a No Win No Fee arrangement. In fact, your lawyer will not expect to receive a fee at all until the claim has been won. If it fails, you don’t pay the lawyer anything.

A successful claim will result in your solicitor asking to be paid a success fee. This is a modest charge, and legally limited. Furthermore, it can be collected directly from the compensation claim your lawyer was sent for you. If you need more information about making a No WIn No Fee data breach claim, call and talk to one of our expert advisors.

Do I Need To Find A Local Lawyer?

If an Ipswich Borough Council data breach occurred call our team for a free case assessment. You may find that a local lawyer does not have the experience needed to file a data breach claim. Our data breach claims team could handle your case no matter where in the country you reside. We are sure that one of them can help you to get the compensation that you may be entitled to. One of our advisors can explain how to get your claim started as soon as possible.

Talk To An Expert

Thank you for reading this article on steps that could be followed if an Ipswich Borough Council data breach occurred. If you would like a free case assessment why not call our team. You can use the information below to get in touch with one of our claim advisors. They can help you further. An advisor will talk through your claim with you, and highlight your legal options. They can then help you to get your claim started using one of our experienced data breach claim lawyers.

Telephone: 0800 073 8804

Use our webchat or fill in a contact request.

Further Resources

Here are some other data breach guides that you might like to check over.

Making A Claim Against A Bank For A Data Breach

Claiming For A Work Data Breach

How To Claim For A School Data Breach

Also, you might like to peruse the information on these other websites that is related to data breaches.

The Process Of Reporting Data Breaches

Learning What Data Is Saved About You

Borough Council Data Breach FAQs

Below, we answer some of the questions that people can have about data breach claims. Furthermore, for more help, get in touch with our claims team today.

What constitutes a breach of data protection?

A security incident that allows personal data to be destroyed, lost, altered or accessed without authorisation either deliberately, accidentally or unlawfully.

Who’s responsible for protecting data in the council?

The council will have a team responsible for ensuring compliance with UK-GDPR. Therefore, you can contact them for help.

Can you get compensation for a data protection breach?

Yes, you can. If your claim is valid. You can potentially claim for mental harm and financial loss. However, you need to prove liability.

What is the penalty for breaching data protection?

If the ICO can take several types of punitive action. In short, from simply adding the incident to the data breach register, through to fines and in extreme cases, prosecution.

Thank you for reading this article on steps that could be followed if an Ipswich Borough Council data breach occurred. If you would like a free case assessment why not call our team.

Guide By Wheeler

Edited By Melissa.

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