Liverpool City Council Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Liverpool City Council Data Breach
A Liverpool City Council data breach can cause havoc in the lives of those it affects. When a local authority loses our personal information or fails to prevent it from being hacked, the tenant or user can experience endless aggravation and stress as a result. Cybercriminals search the internet looking for any personal information about Liverpool residents that they could use to exploit fraudulent opportunities. This can range from just being targeted for simple spam emails right the way up to wholesale identity theft.
At Legal Expert, we understand how painful and distressing privacy violations can be. But did you know that if it can be proven that it happened because of a failure within Liverpool City Council, you could be eligible for compensation from them?
As the victim of a Liverpool City Council data breach, you could see all the out-of-pocket expenses incurred from the incident returned to you. Furthermore, you could receive compensation for the pain and distress it caused. To find out more, contact us now by:
- Call us now to discuss your case on 0800 073 8804
- Email or write to us through our contact page
- Use the ‘live support’ option, bottom right for instant help and advice
Select A Section
- A Guide To Liverpool City Council Data Breach Compensation Claims
- Government Department Data Breach Statistics
- What Is A Liverpool City Council Data Breach Compensation Claim?
- City Council Bound By The GDPR?
- Types Of Breaches In Local Authority Data Privacy
- Data Protection Breaches Of Tenants Rent Statements
- Do I Have To Inform The Information Commissioner About A Breach?
- How Do You Sue?
- What Could A Payout Compensate You For?
- Calculating Liverpool City Council Data Breach Compensation Payouts
- No Win No Fee Liverpool City Council Data Breach Compensation Claims
- Choosing The Right Data Protection Breach Lawyer
- Begin A Data Breach Claim
- Useful Resources
- FAQs About Liverpool City Council Data Breaches
Liverpool City Council has a duty to safeguard your personal information. They collect details about residents and users for a wide array of reasons. The people of Merseyside supply that information partly because they are obliged by law to do so, but also through choice. Once handed over, we trust that they will protect our privacy. Also, that they will have all the necessary security measures in place to prevent it from being hacked by online criminals. What happens when they fail?
In this article, we explain how the law supports your right to data protection. We look at the two types of damage that can be claimed for, called material and non-material damage, that combined, can comprise a settlement in a successful case against Liverpool City Council. In conclusion, we discuss the merits of using a No Win No Fee solicitor to help you achieve this.
Data offences are serious. As the unwitting victim of a data breach by a local authority, you could find highly personal information leaked across the internet. The consequences could severely damage your peace of mind, finances and reputation. The impact could take months or even years to straighten out. At Legal Expert, we aim to provide you with the resources and support to take action if you’ve been the victim of a breach of personal data.
The Government has provided cybersecurity statistics for 2020 that show the extent of the problem amongst various users:
As you can see, banks and credit card companies were targeted most in respect of businesses, most likely because they hold valuable financial information. Surprisingly, charities are targeted more than any other type of organisation.
If you have evidence that shows that you have been the victim of a Liverpool City Council data breach you could be owed compensation if you suffered damage to your mental health or finances as a result.
Working with a No Win No Fee lawyer, it can be possible to use proof of financial and psychological harm to calculate a figure for potential compensation. It’s easier than you think to get started on this today when you speak to our advisors at Legal Expert.
New laws mean that local authorities have very specific responsibilities when it comes to the use of our data. If they breach that duty by using the information incorrectly or allowing staff errors to expose you to risk, they could be liable if you go on to suffer financial or mental damage. In addition to this, they have a legal duty to ensure their cybersecurity is robust. Also, that they are doing all they can to defend themselves from external hacks or scams.
Consider a few possible dangerous scenarios that can arise from basic acts of absent-mindedness by staff or hostile external threats:
- Data leaks over rent statements or neighbour disputes
- Information on community safety and terrorism threats
- Scans of tenancy audit documents or budget details
- Tenancy documents and private facts
- Passport data or other sensitive documents
- Social services and child welfare issues
- Immigration details
- Public housing information and legal proceedings
Perhaps the Liverpool City Council data breach you experienced involved a different set of circumstances? It’s important to note that the basic principles of data protection remain the same and if you suffered direct damage to your health, finances or reputation because of a failure on their part in this regard, speak to our team for guidance.
The Data Protection Act 2018 was amended to enact into UK law the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It was recognised that there were too many opportunities for cybercrime on the internet and abuses of personal data. Measures were needed to ensure companies were doing more to protect our personal information and to regulate what it was being used for.
The GDPR was brought in to clarify what constituted a data breach and how it should be avoided. These laws are enforced by a non-governmental agency called the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). With far-reaching powers, the ICO can investigate, monitor and issue multi-million-pound penalties against any UK based organisation that fails to take consumer data protection seriously.
7 Core Principles
The ICO has established 7 core principles that companies need to comply with when handling our data. They define ‘personal data breaches‘ as any kind of loss, alteration, destruction or unauthorised sharing of information that we could be personally identified by.
Going far beyond the simple details of name and address, it is recognised that companies and government agencies (like Liverpool City Council) hold an enormous amount of detail about us. Therefore, they need to practice the following:
- Lawfulness, fairness and transparency – are the reasons for collecting the data legal and clearly described?
- Purpose limitation – what is the reason for the data collection?
- Data minimisation – only collect what is strictly necessary
- Accuracy – how up to date is the information?
- Storage limitation – kept for how long?
- Accountability – who is in charge of it?
- Integrity and confidentiality (security) – does everyone understand their responsibility with data?
There are three main groups who use our personal data and GDPR laws apply to them all equally. It’s essential that companies train staff properly, out-source to reliable companies and stay within the agreed terms of data sharing with third parties:
- Controllers are the organisations that originally requested the data
- Processors are internal or external agencies that work with the information or store it for controllers, an example being Blackbaud
- Third parties – external companies who use the data for a range of reasons that might include marketing, customer improvements or research purposes.
There are some exemptions to basic data protection rights which tend to be based on the need to provide legal evidence or information that may affect public safety. In cases such as this, the concerned party must make a subject access request. Speak with our team if Liverpool City Council shared important details about you in a way that breached their legal obligations.
After the introduction of the GDPR, it was recognised that there might be a ‘catch up’ period for companies and agencies as they got to grips with the new expectations and legal requirements. The ICO understands this and works hard with agencies to help them achieve data protection compliance as quickly and easily as possible.
Human error can still account for a great deal of data breach issues and local authorities like Liverpool City Council have a duty to ensure staff are properly trained and fully aware of their responsibilities in this area. Failures do happen, unfortunately, and they could occur in a variety of ways:
- Staff can leave important documents lying around
- Unredacted or unsecured emails sent
- A casual conversation between staff or the public detailing personal information
- Loss of laptops, memory sticks/USBs or smartphones
- Unsecured desks or filing cabinets
- Group emails
- Inclusion on social media posts without consent
- Improper disposal of data
- Any form of loss, alteration, duplication or destruction of data
Therefore, the importance of data protection procedures must be impressed upon every member of staff and person involved in its handling. When such simple errors can result in such catastrophic consequences for the innocent user, the long term damage is too great to disregard.
Consent is a key aspect of data security. ‘Cookie’ requests appear on websites asking for our consent before we can continue every time we shop, buy tickets or send an email. We consent to these uses, but by law, local authorities need to keep a great deal of information about us.
Rent arrangements, for instance, need bank detail information to be provided. Many local authorities require their tenants to pay rent on a standing order or direct debit arrangements to prevent tenancy fraud, so this can be a legal requirement for tenants of that Council.
By requiring this information, they assume the responsibility to protect it properly. The tenant or service user cannot access the facilities they need without providing these details. With this in mind, it should not be unreasonable to expect the local authority to take great care to ensure the data is safe.
Liverpool City Council retains the personal banking details of thousands of tenants, as well as their personal information, details on their mental and physical health (such as vision impairments), and any disputes that may exist between neighbours.
Have you suffered damage to your mental health or finances due to a data breach or privacy failure? Speak with our advisors today to see how we could help you recover that lost money.
If a local authority suspects a data breach has happened they have a legal duty to report it to the ICO within 72 hours and to inform the involved tenants or users as soon as practicably possible.
It’s important to note that the ICO does not actually pay compensation. The weight of their involvement in your case (which is not guaranteed) is nevertheless very helpful. It sends a clear message to the local authority involved that you are not happy about their data use.
The ICO can investigate and monitor progress and you can refer to their website for constant support through this process. Involving them is not essential and they may not take up your specific complaint. However, it can be beneficial to use the support they offer in a private case against Liverpool City Council.
Liverpool City Council has a legal duty to protect your data. To prove a claim you must be able to show that the actions that local authorities took (like not updating software defences) led to the exposure and damage.
There are some particularly sensitive pieces of information that local authorities need to retain such as rent details and personal banking information, social services issues, data that relates to children’s issues as well as information relating to their own staff privacy. IT and software defences must be up to date and secure. Because of this duty, when a breach occurs, you can sue whether it was an accidental or deliberate cause.
The first step is to complain to the local authority. They may contact you to advise of the breach and offer compensation themselves. You can accept or decline this offer, but you would not be able to start a case against them after accepting their settlement. If you fail to hear any meaningful response from Liverpool City Council after no later than 3 months, you can contact the ICO.
Whilst you await the outcome of any investigation, use the time to gather evidence of how the breach has affected you, such as requesting medical records to help show that the mental harm suffered was caused by the breach.
If you want help pursuing data breach compensation, you can present this evidence to a solicitor. They will assess it and determine the chances of success when pursuing a claim. If they believe it has favourable prospects, they may offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. This is something we can help you with.
Once you have representation, your lawyer can arrange for further evidence to be obtained, such as an independent medical assessment to help prove that the harm suffered was caused by the breach.
You can also start to assemble the paper trail of any financial damage. Remember to think about the long-term impacts. Often in cases of a data breach, bank charges and unauthorised overdraft fees can continue months after the initial breach was detected. As you can only make one claim, it’s essential to include everything.
Collecting and processing your personal information is a serious task. Companies and agencies must approach it with care and respect. If they fail and that data is leaked, the short and long-term consequences can cause much suffering for the data subject concerned.
What can you realistically hope to receive as damages for such breaches? Compensation amounts can be fairly accurately calculated, but it’s necessary to gather together proof. Anything that illustrates how the breach caused serious problems for you can help, such as:
- You may have had money stolen from your bank account
- Fraud perpetrated in your name
- Online predators may now have information about you or your children
- Security measures if you are at direct risk
- Any direct cost that relates to the consequences of the data breach
In addition to this, you may need to pay out for counselling or psychotherapy bills as you deal with the stress. Chronic anxiety and even PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) can arise from the worry. Those bills or receipts and statements are proof.
The resultant fall-out in many different areas of your life could mean that you need to find emergency funds to cope. The anguish and uncertainty created by knowing that strangers have access to personal information can take an awful toll on your mental health. But, there is a solution.
Material and non-material damages aim to acknowledge the actual financial damage created by a data breach as well as the psychological ones. Acting on the constructive advice of a No Win No Fee lawyer, it can be possible to put in place evidence of both these types of losses. With this in mind, you could present a compelling argument for compensation against Liverpool City Council for their data security error or failure.
Since a change in the position in the law after a landmark case called Vidal-Hall v Google, it was recognised that emotional injury could be as much a part of a valid claim in data breach cases as financial loss. Therefore it’s possible to claim for either or both.
Because of this change, with the right medical evidence, a data breach lawyer can calculate damages for you in much the same way they would for a personal injury case. The table below shows what the Judicial College Guidelines suggest could be appropriate payouts for different types of psychiatric harm:
Type of injury Potential award bracket
Psychiatric injury (severe) Resulting in marked inability to function with everyday life. Up to £108,620
Psychiatric injury (moderately severe) Showing significant problems coping with things like education, work and relationships. Some recovery may be made with professional help, but the damage will be significantly disabling. Up to £51,460
Psychiatric Injury (moderate ) There will be marked improvements with treatment and prognosis is good. Up to £17,900
Psychiatric injury (less severe) Residual issues that yield over time to treatment. Up to £5,500
Post-traumatic stress disorder (severe) Inability to cope at anything approaching a pre-trauma level. Up to £94,470
Post-traumatic stress disorder (moderately severe Symptoms which cause significant disability for the foreseeable future. Up to £56,180
Post-traumatic stress disorder (moderate) Where recovery is largely complete and any residual effects don't grossly disable the injured person. Up to £21,730
Post-traumatic stress disorder (less severe) Awards in this bracket will depend on the extent to which daily activities and sleep were impacted. Up to £7,680
The results of an independent medical examination, (which your No Win No Fee lawyer can help arrange) could prove the full extent of the suffering a serious data breach can cause to your mental health. Speak to our team if you were impacted by a Liverpool City Council data breach and you are unsure as to how you might qualify for eligibility in a compensation claim.
No Win No Fee may be an expression that you associate more with car accident claims, but a lawyer working in this way can help with data breach cases also. Firstly, anyone can start a claim for compensation. It’s not legally essential that you use the services of a legal professional. But the advantages of doing so speak for themselves. Data protection breach cases can be complex. At this time, it could be simpler and more beneficial to use a lawyer to help.
Secondly, No Win No Fee enables you to do this at no upfront or ongoing cost whatsoever. Your lawyer requires a small fee only if your case is successful, which would be deducted from your compensation award. If they didn’t succeed, you wouldn’t be obligated to pay any of their fees.
This enables you to access immediate high-quality legal help and retain the bulk of any damages you receive. All you need to do is provide your lawyer with as much evidence as possible to support your claim.
When a local authority breaches data protection law, it can feel overwhelming. The dread and uncertainty can make you ill or you may panic. If you have decided to start a claim for a data breach against your local authority, you may be considering the next step. At Legal Expert, we aim to streamline this search for you and offer support at this difficult time.
Traditionally, people have used a law firm that is local to them. At Legal Expert, we believe you can bypass this by giving you a much wider range of options. Because of online or remote communication, you could benefit from instant professional help from lawyers regardless of where in the UK you’re based. The benefit of their insight and wisdom might give your claim the edge it needs.
In conclusion, we hope this article has helped clarify your options in relation to starting a Liverpool City Council data breach claim. Thank you for taking the time to read it. If you have any questions or require additional help, get in touch with our friendly team right now. It’s free, there’s no obligation and you could be eligible to receive compensation:
- Simply call us now to discuss your case on 0800 073 8804
- Email or write to us at Legal Expert.co.uk
- Use the ‘live support’ option, bottom right for instant help and advice
- If you’d like to learn more about local council data breach claims, please see our guide here.
- We also have a detailed guide on what to do if your private data is lost.
- And another dedicated guide on housing association data breaches.
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Do GDPR rules apply to Liverpool City Council data breaches?
Yes. Every local authority has a duty when it comes to data protection. The array of sensitive issues and information local authorities need to retain such as rent and banking details, social services and sensitive children’s data, as well as staff privacy information and other personal details means their IT and software defences must be up to date and secure.
Can you claim for the mental health effects of a data breach?
Whereas it used to be necessary to prove financial damage from data breach experiences, the Vidal-Hall v Google case changed that. With the results from an independent medical assessment by a specialist, it can be possible to prove mental anguish and claim for that also.
How long could my claim take?
It’s important to note that there are no hard and fast rules regarding the time frames for data breach claims. So with this in mind, it’s sensible to use 6 months as a very approximate time scale.
What time frame is there to starting a claim?
Regarding this, the time frame for starting a data breach claim is 6 years when it concerns a privately-owned company. Whilst this may seem a generous period of time, it’s important to start assembling the relevant details and evidence as soon as possible. Contact our team for more advice. Also note that the timeframe shortens to just 1 year if it concerns a local council or another public body.
Liverpool City Council data breach – Proof required?
Lastly, evidence is essential in a data breach claim. This can take the form of a medical assessment report that demonstrates how you suffered emotional damage. Pain and suffering can create very real conditions that a medical professional will be able to verify. The other evidence can be paper documentation. Anything that illustrates how you actually lost money because of the consequences of the data breach. So keep all bills and receipts, too.
We appreciate you taking the time to read our guide on what to do if you fall victim to a Liverpool City Council data breach.
Guide by Waters
Edited by Billing