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Leeds Trinity University Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Leeds Trinity University Data Breach

My Information Was Exposed By A Data Breach At Leeds Trinity University, Could I Claim Compensation?

By Edward Robinson. Last Updated 2nd February 2021. Welcome to this guide on data breach compensation claims. Any university is likely to process vast amounts of information about its students and staff. Much of this information will be personal and sometimes sensitive. While there’s no doubting the fact that the information is required, the thought of that data getting into the wrong hands is quite worrying. In this article, we’re going to show you when compensation claims for data breaches at Leeds Trinity University might be required, how they could happen and what harm they can lead to.

Leeds Trinity University data breach claims guide

Leeds Trinity University data breach claims guide

Data protection rules have been strengthened in recent years. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and The Data Protection Act 2018 work hand in hand to give individuals (or data subjects) more say over how personal details are used by organisations (data controllers).

Also, data controllers must take additional steps to secure any personal information they store. If data protection laws are broken, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has the power to issue huge financial penalties. Also, if you suffer as a result of a personal data breach, you could be compensated.

Legal Expert can help with the process of making a claim. We offer a review of any case without obligation along with free legal advice. If your claim appears viable, it may be passed to one of our experienced solicitors. Should they accept it, they will work for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

To find out if we could help you claim for a university data breach, why not call us on 0800 073 8804 today? If you want to know more before calling, please read on.

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A Guide To Claims For Data Breaches At Leeds Trinity University

Without a doubt, many daily processes have changed since the GDPR was implemented. When you do things like book a medical appointment, make an online purchase, start an educational course or log in to a website, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of emphases placed on explaining how your data will be used. Additionally, you might see those annoying pop-up boxes or tick boxes asking to confirm that you are happy to continue.

These things are all there to help data controllers meet their legal obligations. Firstly, they have to tell you why your information is needed. Secondly, they must get your permission to use it. Another important obligation is that they try to keep your information safe by implementing additional security measures. Although the ICO is able to step in and fine anybody who breaks data protection laws, they can’t issue compensation to individuals. That’s why you will need to start your own legal action if you have been harmed by a data protection breach.

There is a time limit linked to data breach claims. The standard limitation period is 6-years. However, it’s worth checking how long you have left to claim because some cases are limited to just 1-year (if they are linked to human rights breaches). It may be advisable to begin your claim as early as possible because that could make it easier to find the evidence required to back up your allegations. Also, you may find that it is easier to remember the effects of the data breach when starting in the weeks or months after you became aware of it.

You can call our advice line, day or night, to register your interest in beginning a university data breach claim or to have any questions you have answered.

What Is A Claim For A Data Breach At Leeds Trinity University?

When we talk about data breaches, many people will automatically assume we’re talking about cybersecurity breaches. For instance, news articles about data protection often relate to denial of service attacks, malware, phishing emails, ransomware, keyloggers and viruses. However, are you aware that the GDPR covers other data breaches too?

Any personal information that is recorded is covered by the new legislation. That includes data that is written down on pieces of paper. To provide an example, a London-based pharmacy was fined £275,000 in 2019 because they stored patient records which contained a lot of sensitive details in unsecured containers at the back of their building (source).

The definition of a data breach is where some sort of security incident leads to details about a data subject being altered, lost, disclosed, destroyed or accessed in a way that has not been permitted. Any type of breach can be investigated by the ICO regardless of whether it was caused illegally, deliberately or accidentally.

After a breach has been identified, the data controller is legally obliged to inform the ICO. They must also begin an internal investigation. At this point, if a data subject may be at risk of harm, they must be informed about:

  • When the data breach took place.
  • How it occurred.
  • The information that was leaked during the breach.

If you believe you have suffered in any way following a data breach, why not contact our team today? We provide a free assessment of any claim and will also explain your claim options.

University GDPR Breaches And Fines

As the GDPR documentation is 88-pages long, you may think it’s difficult to understand. However, unlike some legislation that only qualified legal professionals can wrap their heads around, the GDPR is written in quite plain English! Within its pages, a lot of roles and responsibilities are clearly explained.

For example, organisations like universities will usually be registered as data controllers. In the documentation, it explains that data controllers need to show compliance with several rules relating to data processing. They must:

  • Clearly explain why personal information is required to all data subjects.
  • Process personal information legally and in a manner that is obvious and fair.
  • Ensure that personal data that is stored is kept up to date.
  • Not collect any more personal data than is actually required.
  • Process all personal information securely and in a confidential manner.
  • Never retain personal information for any longer than required.

Any information that might help identify a data subject is covered by the GDPR. This can include names, home addresses, contact numbers, email addresses, student enrolment numbers or staff ID numbers. In addition, some data that might indirectly identify somebody is covered too like details about gender, sexual orientation, disability, age or ethnicity.

How Could Data Breaches Affect A University?

Now we are going to show an example of a personal data breach involving the University of Greenwich. In 2018, the university was fined £120,000 by the ICO for a ‘serious breach’ which began many years earlier.

In 2004, a student in the Computing and Mathematics School created a website to aid a training conference. The website included records of around 20,000 people. While much of the data was limited to contact details, some 3,500 included more sensitive information.

After the training event, the website was not taken down or password protected. In 2013, it was compromised which meant an unknown number of hackers gained access to the webserver in 2016.

The ICO issued the large financial penalty to the university because there were no management or technical procedures which could’ve prevented, as much as possible, the breach from taking place.

More details: You can read more about this serious security breach by the University of Greenwich, leading to a £120,000 fine.

We could help you start a claim if you believe that you’ve been harmed by a university data breach. Please call today for further information.

How Many UK Universities Have Been Affected By Breaches In Data Security?

We have explained how data breaches can take place already. Now it’s time to look at some statistics. While there haven’t been any government figures released to date, an independent study has provided some figures which you might find alarming. The report found that:

  • Of the 86 universities which responded, over half (54%) had contacted the ICO in the last year to report a data breach.
  • Over 54% of employees had not undergone data awareness training in the previous 12-months.
  • 27% said that their IT infrastructure had never been penetration tested by an external company.
  • 49% of students are not proactively offered data safety training.
  • Annually, training budgets for staff data security training averaged just £7,529 per university.

Study: https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/blog/54-of-universities-reported-a-data-breach-in-the-past-year

Cyber Attacks And Threats To Universities

As we have mentioned already, data breaches can involve physical documentation or data held electronically. More and more, the main threat to personal information is related to cyberattacks, so what can be done to prevent them? Well, we don’t profess to be experts in IT security, but there are some steps that could help. They include:

  • Ensuring all staff and students have the opportunity to receive adequate IT security training.
  • Encrypting hard drives on devices in case they are stolen.
  • Hiring an external cybersecurity company to conduct a penetration test of the university’s infrastructure.
  • Reviewing data privacy policies regularly and updating them where necessary.
  • Making sure devices that are added to the IT network are patched with the latest security updates.

It is true that budgets in many universities are stretched and that these measures might be costly initially. However, over time they could pay for themselves if they help to prevent an ICO fine. They could also prevent a lot of future harm too.

How You Could Be Compensated If Your University Data Is Breached?

Unfortunately, compensation claims for data breaches aren’t simply a matter of requesting a set amount of money from the defendant. You will need to explain each element of your claim and supply evidence to substantiate them. What makes claims more complex is the requirement to review future suffering as well because you won’t be able to claim further compensation after the case has been settled.

Initially, you’ll calculate any material damages. This is the money that you have lost as a direct result of the data breach. The easiest part is looking at financial losses that have already occurred. Then you may need to consider if you’ll lose out financially in the future too. For example, your credit file could be damaged by identity theft. If that happens, you might be quoted higher rates for credit cards, mortgages or loans that you take out until the damage has been rectified.

You’ll then move on to look at medical problems caused by the breach. This is known as non-material damages. Again, the first part of your claim will look at the suffering that has already been medically diagnosed. After that, the findings of an independent medical expert might need to be considered. For instance, a medical assessment could determine that there will be long-term suffering caused by the data breach. This could include suffering like stress, depression, or anxiety that could mean you struggle for some time.

Our advice is that you should take on legal representation because of the complexity of these claims. If your case is accepted by one of our solicitors, they will work with you and review all aspects of your suffering before the case is submitted.

If you would like us to review your eligibility to claim compensation, without obligation, why not get in touch today?

Leeds Trinity University Data Breach Compensation Calculator

It is now time to move on and look at potential compensation amounts. When you contact our team, you’ll receive a personalised compensation estimate after the facts in your case have been considered properly. However, the details in this section will give you some idea of how much compensation could be awarded.

The ability to claim compensation for psychiatric injuries that result from data breaches without having suffered financial losses was set out by the Court of Appeal when hearing the claim of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015]. The court also said compensation awards should be paid at the same level as personal injury cases for psychological injuries.

Therefore, we have listed some compensation figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) in the table that follows. Courts, lawyers and other legal professionals refer to the JCG when setting compensation levels.

Claim Type / InjurySeverity LevelCompensation Extra Information
Psychiatric DamageSevere£51,460 to £108,620In this example, the claimant will not benefit from treatment leaving them vulnerable in the future. They will receive a very poor prognosis and will struggle to cope daily and manage relationships.
Psychiatric DamageModerate£5,500 to 17,900In this example, there will have been issues as listed above but the claimant will have improved markedly and their prognosis will be good.
Psychiatric DamageLess SevereUp to £5,500Minor symptoms that resolve fully within a short space of time.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe£56,180 to £94,570Permanent symptoms of PTSD like nightmares, hyperarousal and self-harm will stop the claimant working or returning to pre-trauma levels.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe£21,730 to £56,180In the immediate future, there will be significant problems like those seen above. However, with professional support, the claimant should see some improvements.

The main factor that determines what level of compensation is awarded is the severity of the injury. That means, as part of the claims process, you will be booked in for a local medical assessment. In the meeting, conducted by an independent medical specialist, you will be asked several questions to ascertain how you’ve been affected. Your medical records could also be reviewed where necessary. Once the meeting has concluded, the specialist will write down their findings and file a report for your solicitor.

How Does The Process Of Claiming For A Data Breach Work?

So, you may have read the information we’ve supplied about claiming for data breaches at Leeds Trinity University and be sat there thinking what happens next. Well, you might begin by looking for a solicitor to help you. That process could involve reading online reviews, asking for advice from friends or just choosing the solicitor based closest to you. Or you could save some time and make one call to Legal Expert.

Our advisors provide free claims advice and will answer any questions you have during your no-obligation telephone consultation. If the grounds for your case are strong enough, it could be passed to one of our data breach solicitors. If the case is taken on, your solicitor will explain any legal complexities, update you regularly and be on hand to answer any queries that arise. The main job of your solicitor will be to try and ensure that you receive the highest settlement amount possible in your case.

Our advice helpline is available 24-7, so why not give us a call today to find out more about how we could help you.

No Win No Fee Claims For Data Breaches At Leeds Trinity University

If you are thinking about beginning a Leeds Trinity University data breach claim, but you’re concerned about losing money, then we can help. Our solicitors provide crucial access to justice on a No Win No Fee basis for all claims that are taken on. Our service means that you’ll not only have reduced financial risks, but your stress levels will be lowered too!

We will of course need to check the viability of your case first. If a solicitor from our team accepts it, they will draft a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) for you (another name for a No Win No Fee agreement). This document will show how the claim will be handled. It will also explain to you that:

  • No money needs to be paid upfront.
  • There won’t be any solicitor’s fees billed to you while the claim is being processed.
  • Should the claim not work out, you won’t need to pay the solicitor’s fees.

To cover the cost of your solicitor’s work when there is a positive outcome, a small success fee will be deducted from any compensation paid. The success fee is listed as a fixed percentage of your compensation in the CFA so you’ll know how much it will be before you agree to let us represent you. To prevent any overcharging, success fees are legally capped.

If you’d like an advisor to assess if you could claim using our No Win No Fee service, please call our advice line today.

Talk To Us About Your Case

Throughout this guide, we have tried to explain why you could claim compensation for data breaches at Leeds Trinity University. If you have found the details helpful and would now like to work with Legal Expert, you can get in touch with us by:

  • Contacting our free advice line on 0800 073 8804 for a no-obligation case assessment.
  • Emailing us with an outline of your case – info@legalexpert.co.uk.
  • Explaining your case to an online specialist via live chat.
  • Completing our enquiry form so that we can call you back at a suitable time.

Our specialists will be honest and open about your chances of success so that we don’t waste your time. During your telephone consultation, your evidence will be reviewed, and you’ll receive free legal advice. If the case appears to have strong grounds, it could be passed to one of our experienced lawyers. Any claim they accept will be managed on a No Win No Fee basis.

Case References

You have arrived at the last section of this article about claiming for data breaches at Leeds Trinity University. We have tried to supply you with all of the details you need to understand your claim options throughout the guide so, in this part, we’ll link to some resources which may help you while you’re claiming.

Leeds Trinity Data Policy – A PDF document setting out how the university uses personal information.

Identity Theft – This guide lists what signs to look out for if you’re concerned your information has been stolen in a university data breach.

What Is Depression? – A guide from Mind UK which explains the symptoms of depression.

Legal Expert can help with other claims besides those for data breaches. Therefore, here are a sample of our other guides:

Factory Accident Claims – Our solicitors could help you claim for injuries sustained while working in a factory.

Claiming For Surgical Mistakes – Details about claiming if you’re harmed because of negligence during surgery.

Slips, Trips and Falls – Information on why you might be able to claim for injuries sustained during a fall.

 

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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