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Lewes And Eastbourne Councils Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

Data Breach By Lewes And Eastbourne Councils

This guide is going to look at what you could do after a potential data breach by Lewes And Eastbourne Councils. We are going to cover the major laws and your rights, as well as the obligation the council has to keep your personal data safe and secure. You will learn about some of the ways that a data breach can happen, and how you could potentially claim if a personal data breach was caused by a council’s failings to secure your personal data.

Lewes and Eastbourne Council data breach claims guide

Lewes and Eastbourne Councils data breach claims guide

Each and every claim is based on its own unique situation in the way the claim came about and the things the claimant seeks damages for. Because of that, we can’t cover all possible scenarios and answer all questions in one guide. However, we do aim to give fundamental advice on making a claim.

If you do have questions you need answers to, you can speak to our expert claims team any time of the day or night, seven days a week. Call 0800 073 8804 to speak with one of our claim advisors today. Alternatively, use our live chat for instant replies from an advisor.

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A Guide About Claims For A Data Breach By Lewes And Eastbourne Councils

We have tried to provide enough information in this guide so you learn all of the basic facts you need to know before you start a potential claim for the psychological or financial effects of a data breach. Not all data breaches result in compensation. You’d have to prove that a council’s positive wrongful conduct caused a data breach, which caused you to suffer financial loss or mental harm.

We kick this guide off with some background. And this includes some statistics related to data breaches in Government in the UK. You will find a basic definition of what a data breach claim is and what the process is. The legal obligations of the council are also discussed in the first part of this guide.

The next part of this guide looks at how data braces can happen, including data breaches that affect council tenants in some way. You will also learn about the process of making a complaint to the regulatory body responsible for policing data protection law in the UK.

We discuss the reasons you might claim damages and also provide an example compensation table.

No Win No Fee agreements are explained. Both the fee structure and the benefits are covered.

We end this guide with some advice on getting your claim underway, several links that might be useful, and an FAQ section.

Claim Time Limits

Please keep in mind that there will be a time limit in place that you are going to need to begin your claim within. It does not matter how long it takes to process the claim, just as long as you start it within this limit. The time limit is driven by the specific circumstances of your claim. For example:

  • If the breach is against a public body like a council, you have 1 year.
  • Otherwise, for private companies, it would be 6 years.

We would recommend that you call and explain your situation to our advisors, they can then let you know exactly which time limit is likely to be applicable. Especially since numerous factors could alter how long you have to claim, amongst them the nature of the data breach. Furthermore, their advice is free and you’ll be under no obligation to proceed with our services.

More Help Is Available

You may not have all of your questions answered in this guide. We can help. Our advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be reached using the information at the bottom of this guide. If you call them, they will also explain to you exactly how we can help you in making a claim for a data breach. They give free legal advice and you won’t be under any pressure to proceed with our services after contacting us.

Data Breach 2021 Statistics

The independent authority related to enforcing data protection law in the UK is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO website carries reports and statistics related to data breaches that happen in the UK. The table below is based on 2021/22 data from the ICO related to Government data breaches.

Central Government Data Incidents

What is a potential data breach by Lewes And Eastbourne Councils?

A data breach by Lewes And Eastbourne Councils could occur deliberately or accidentally. A personal data breach can happen when the local authority fails to follow laws and regulations related to data privacy and security, resulting in personal data being exposed or used for a purpose that has not been permitted.

What Is A Data Breach By Lewes And Eastbourne Councils?

There are laws in the UK that are in place for ensuring the privacy and security of personal information. The European Union (EU) uses something called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As the UK has now left the EU, we have our own take on the GDPR: the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). This sits alongside the UK GDPR.

A personal data breach starts with a security incident. This then causes the unauthorised or unlawful loss, destruction, disclosure, alteration or access of personal information.

For example, a council data breach could be an instance of personal data being exposed to access by a third party who is not authorised to see it. Or the data may be used in a way where permission has not been given or there isn’t a lawful reason to do so.

When a data breach affects your own personal data, you could be in a position to make a compensation claim for any psychological harm or financial loss you have suffered. That’s providing that the council caused the data breach due to their failings. If you believe that you have evidence of a valid claim, call our claims team to have your potential claim evaluated.

Is The Council And Government Subject To GDPR?

Is the Government subject to the UK GDPR? Government departments and councils are subject to UK GDPR if they process or collect personal data.

Any party (such as an organisation or local authority) that processes or collects personal information should abide by the UK GDPR. It aims to help protect the personal information of data subjects.

Data subjects are individuals whose personal information is collected or processed. For example, if the council is your employer, they would likely have your personal information (such as your name, address and bank details) on file. Therefore, you’d be a data subject.

Data controllers are the party that decides how and why your data will be processed. They may use the help of a data processor (another organisation, for example) to process personal data on their behalf.

Personal data is anything that can directly identify you or identify you in combination with other data. For example, it can include:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Employee IDs
  • Bank account numbers

If a Lewes And Eastbourne Councils data protection breach takes place and you can prove that this caused you financial loss or psychological harm, you may be in a position to make a compensation claim. However, you would also need to prove that the data breach took place due to the council’s positive wrongful conduct. For advice on this, why not get in touch?

Ways In Which Your Data Privacy Could Be Breached

If the people responsible for securing data fail to do so in some way, this could lead to a data breach. Your local council stores and processes many types of personal data.

Potential data breaches could involve:

  • Social services data breaches exposing your sensitive family data.
  • A letter containing personal information being sent to the wrong address, where an unauthorised recipient accesses it.
  • Poor IT security allowing a prior employee to retain access to council systems without a lawful basis.
  • Substandard cybersecurity allowing a cybercriminal to easily access personal information.
  • Employee and staff personal data being left in an unsecured, open paper file in an area that’s accessible to the public. An unauthorised person then gains access to this personal information.

Each of these examples could become the basis of a claim if you can prove that the council was at fault. Please speak to our claims team for some more advice on starting such a claim.

Breaches Of Tenants’ Personal Information

In this section of our guide exploring what you could do after a data breach by Lewes and Eastbourne Councils, we consider what personal information could be involved in council housing.

Personal data related to public housing tenants can be found in rental agreements and payments. Councils offer public housing (otherwise known as council housing) at affordable rates of rent and act as a landlord.

However, because it requires the processing and collecting of personal data, there is a risk of council data breaches. Data breaches could include:

  • The tenant’s personal information being exposed to unauthorised recipients as it is attached to a mass email by a council employee accidentally.
  • Exposure of physical documents, such as tenancy documents or scans of tenancy audit documents, because they’re kept in unsecured drawers that are accessed by someone who’s not authorised to view them.
  • Rent statements are posted to an incorrect address, despite the council having the correct one on file. An unauthorised recipient then accesses the statements.

These are just a few examples of the types of data breaches a council tenant could be harmed by. Call and explain to our advisors what you have been through, and they will be able to tell you whether you have a potentially valid claim. They can also advise you on how to proceed with a claim if it is valid.

How Long Do You Have To Report A Data Breach To The ICO?

If you believe that you have been a victim of a data breach, you have the option of complaining to the ICO.

First, you should raise your concern with the council. If you cannot get any meaningful resolution to the problem from the council, you can take the matter to the ICO. But there is a caveat here. If you communicate with the council about the issue and it is not resolved to your satisfaction, you should complain to the ICO within three months of the last communication you had with the council in relation to the matter.

It’s not necessary to raise your concerns with the ICO. Additionally, you should be aware that they can’t offer you compensation. However, that’s where we could help. Our advisors could check your claim for free and, if you have solid grounds, could connect you with our lawyers.

Explanation Of How The Claims Process Works

If you believe that you need to make a claim for a data breach against the council, there are some steps you can take first. First, reach out to the council and try to resolve the problem. If discussing the matter with the council does not result in a resolution to the issue, you have the option of taking the matter to the ICO and lodging a formal complaint.

However, whether you decide to complain to the ICO or not, and regardless of any decision or action the ICO takes (or does not take), you still have the option of proceeding to make a claim.

You could have grounds to claim if:

  • The council’s positive wrongful conduct caused a data breach.
  • You suffered psychological harm or financial loss (or both) as a result.

In order to make a claim, you could use the services of a solicitor. Our solicitors offer No Win No Free agreements. We’ll explain this in a later section.

For more information about the claims process, you can reach out to our advisors who will talk you through it, based on the specifics of your own case.

How Victims Of Data Breaches Could Be Compensated

A successful data breach claim could result in two types of damages. These are non-material and material damages.

First, you need to think about the psychological impact of being the victim of a personal data breach. For example, you might have suffered anxiety or stress as a consequence of the breach. If you successfully claim for this, it would be known as non-material damages.

In 2015 the case heard at Court of Appeal, Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc, a precedent for claiming for psychological damage in the event of a data breach was set. Essentially, after this case:

  1. You’re able to claim for psychological harm caused or worsened by the data breach even if you didn’t suffer financial loss. (Before this case, you would need to suffer financial loss in order to claim for psychological harm.)
  2. Psychological harm could be valued as it is in personal injury claims.

There is also the financial loss the data breach causes to consider. A cybercriminal who manages to successfully steal your banking information could be able to spend your savings or use your credit cards. It could be possible to claim some or all of this loss back under material damages.

Call and speak to our claims team, and explain what has happened to you. They will be able to give you a rough idea of the types of damages you may be able to claim for.

What Is A Data Breach By Lewes And Eastbourne Councils Worth In Compensation?

We cannot give you an average compensation amount that you might win in a successful claim. That’s because each claim is different.

What we can do is provide you with the below compensation table showing potential compensation ranges. We based this table on data taken from the guidelines that are produced by the Judicial College in England. These guidelines are used by legal professionals to help them value injuries.

Medical IssueHow Bad?Possible DamagesMore Info
Psychiatric harmLess severeUp to £5,500Described here is all less severe psychological damage. Factors such as how much sleep was affected will be taken into account.
Psychiatric harmModerate£5,500 - £17,900Initially, the claimant will have suffered significantly but there is now a marked improvement.
Psychiatric harmModerately severe£17,900 - £51,460The prognosis will be poorer than the above but better than the below.
Psychiatric harmSevere£51,460 - £108,620The prognosis will be very poor.
PTSDSevere£56,180 - £94,470The claimant will suffer permanent effects.
PTSDLess severeUp to £7,680
The claimant will make an almost full recovery in under 2 years.

A solicitor can value your claim for you more accurately. Call and ask our claims team to arrange for a lawyer to do this for you.

Make A Claim For A Data Breach By Lewes And Eastbourne Councils On A No Win No Fee Basis

Did you know that you could be able to make a claim for a data breach using the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor?

Under No Win No Fee terms, you do not pay any lawyer fees for them to start working on your claim. There is no ongoing solicitor’s fee either. And if the claim fails, your solicitor won’t charge you for any solicitor fees.

If the claim is a success, the solicitor would ask for a success fee in return for their work. The amount of this success fee is limited by law. It can be collected out of the compensation payment only after it’s come through.

You can call and talk to our advisors to learn more about making a No Win No Fee claim. They can explain the process in full, and tell you how we could connect you with our solicitors. What’s more, our solicitors all offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis.

What Do Data Breach Lawyers Do?

If you engage a lawyer to process a data breach claim for you, they could help in many ways. And this might include:

  • Helping you to prepare evidence to prove your claim.
  • Assessing your loss and guiding you on what type of damages might be appropriate, and how much to seek in compensation.
  • Processing the actual claim for you.
  • Representing you in court in the unlikely event that this is required.

Start A Claim

Do you have a valid basis for a compensation claim for a council data breach? Do you need to find a good solicitor to help you claim? Then please contact our advisors using the information below. They can help you.

  • Telephone: 0800 073 8804
  • Use our ‘claim online‘ form to request a callback at a time that suits you.
  • Use our live chat to message our advisors online.

Useful Resources

All of these links are to other useful guides on this site that may be worth checking out.

A Guide To No Win No Fee Solicitors

Housing Association Data Breach Claims

HR Data Breach Compensation Claims

These external links are to sites that could have information useful to you.

A Guide To UK GDPR

Data Protection Act 2018

How To Report A Data Breach

FAQs

In this section, we will try and answer some of the common types of questions that people have about making a data breach claim.

What solicitors could you need to pay?

Under No Win No Fee, you would need to pay your solicitor a success fee if your claim is a success. This success fee is a small percentage of the compensation and is limited by law for your benefit.

How long do you have to begin a claim?

There is a time limit of one or six years to start a claim for a personal data breach depending on your circumstances. Our claims team can tell you exactly what time limit applies in your case.

How long could the claims process take?

The length of time it takes to process a claim relies on many factors such as whether the defendant refutes the claim, and how effectively you can prove your losses. Call our claims team to get a general idea of how long your claim might take.

What could my claim be worth?

Because each claim is unique, we would need to know more about how you were affected before we can give you an accurate estimate. However, if you call and explain your situation to our expert advisors, they can value your claim for you.

Thank you for reading our guide exploring what could happen after a potential data breach by Lewes and Eastbourne Councils.

Written by Wheeler

Edited by Victorine

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