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

If you have ever signed up to a university, or even worked at one, you may be aware of how much personal information is needed about you to help ensure things run smoothly. While there is a good reason for the data about you to be used, there is also a risk that it could cause you harm if it is not stored securely. This article is going to explore the idea of data breach claims against Middlesex University. This guide shall also consider how much compensation could be claimed and what harm data breaches can lead to.

Middlesex University data breach claims guide

Middlesex University data breach claims guide

In the past couple of years, it’s been quite hard to avoid hearing about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It was passed into law by The Data Protection Act 2018. Together, these pieces of legislation provide you (the data subject) with a lot more control over the ways in which your personal data is allowed to be used. Any organisation that processes personal information (the data controller), has to comply with the rules set out by these laws. If a data breach occurs due to failure to comply large financial penalties could be issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). In addition, if you suffer as a result of the data breach (anxiety, stress, financial losses etc), you could start your own legal proceedings.

Contact Our Team

Legal Expert can help you begin a personal data breach claim. Our team will listen to your case and review it without any obligation. They will also offer free legal advice. If your claim is taken on, you will be given access to a specialist solicitor from our team. To ease the stress involved with claiming, they’ll act on a No Win No Fee basis for all cases we take on.

If you would like to commence your claim right now, please call 0800 073 8804 today. Otherwise, please read on to find out more.

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A Guide On Data Breach Claims Against Middlesex University

How we do things has changed quite a lot since the GDPR was introduced. Now, when you sign up for a website, book an appointment, buy online, or register with a GP, there is so much more information in the application forms. Firstly, you’ll often find paragraphs (or even pages) about how your personal information will be used. Then there will be tick boxes (or those annoying pop-ups on websites) asking you to agree to your information being used.

All of this happens as a key requirement of the GDPR. Furthermore, any organisation that needs to store your personal information must implement measures and processes to try to keep it safe. Personal data that has been breached through organisations failing to protect it could mean the ICO will investigate. On top of that, it might be possible to ask for compensation if the breach has harmed you in any way.

When starting a claim, you will need to be aware of the time limits. While most cases will have a 6-year period in which to claim, cases that are about human rights breaches have just 1-year. Regardless of the time limit, it is possible that you will find it easier to remember the impact of the data breach if you begin your case early. In a similar fashion, your solicitor could find it easier to obtain evidence to substantiate your allegations.

Once you have decided that you would like to make a claim, or if you have any questions after reading this article, please call our advice centre. You will be provided with a no-obligation assessment of your chances of being compensated.

What Are Data Breaches By A University?

When we say, ‘data breach’, you may conclude that we are discussing cybersecurity issues like malware, phishing emails, keyloggers, denial of service attacks, ransomware, or viruses. In fact, while these are common reasons why data breaches happen, the GDPR also covers personal data stored on paper. That means, in an office where personal information is stored in filing cabinets, those cabinets must be locked. This will help ensure the company comply with GDPR regulations.

The actual definition of a personal data breach is where a security problem causes personal information about a data subject to be disclosed, altered, destroyed lost or accessed by parties who have not been authorised to do so.

The way in which the breach happens is somewhat irrelevant because the ICO can investigate whether the cause was accidental, illegal or deliberate. The data controller must instigate an investigation if they become aware of a breach. If any data subjects have the potential to be harmed by the breach, they must be told that the breach has happened, the time it took place and how much information was leaked.

For free advice on whether you’re eligible to start a claim, please contact our team today.

How A University Could Breach The GDPR

While some legal documents are quite difficult to read, that’s not the case with the GDPR. It is 88-pages long, but it clearly defines many roles and responsibilities. As universities are often in the role of a data controller, they must be able to demonstrate that they adhere to these data handling rules:

  • A data subject has to be informed about why their personal data is required.
  • When collecting personal data, the method used must be obvious, fair and legal.
  • Personal information must never be retained for any longer than is necessary.
  • All personal information that is retained has to be kept up to date.
  • The methods employed to store data need to be secure as well as confidential.
  • Data processing should only be used to collect the minimum amount of information required and nothing more.

The types of personal information covered by the GDPR include names, home addresses, telephone numbers, ID numbers, student roll numbers or email addresses. There could all identify a data subject directly. Indirect methods or identification are also covered such as information about disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

We could help you if you believe you’re the victim of a university data breach, so why not make contact with our specialists today?

Examples Of Breaches In Data Protection Cases At Universities

In this section, we’re going to review why the University of Greenwich was fined £120,000 by the ICO following a serious data breach.

The breach happened in 2016, but it happened due to a microsite that was developed 12 years earlier. Back in 2004, a website was created to support a training seminar by a student and academic. It had personal information about 20,000 people uploaded to it. Mainly the data was not sensitive (names, addresses, telephone numbers etc), but some records did contain details of staff sickness and students with learning difficulties.

When the training event ended, the website should have been destroyed or password-protected, but it wasn’t. In 2013, criminals exploited the webserver and in 2016, various hacks occurred.

While the university did not know of the website’s existence, the ICO issued a fine because there were not sufficient procedures (organisational or technical) to try and prevent such a breach from occurring.

Source: https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2018/05/the-university-of-greenwich-fined-120-000-by-information-commissioner-for-serious-security-breach/

Rates Of Breaches In Data Protection At UK Universities

In a recent study involving 86 British universities, an IT security company have published some figures relating to data security. 86 Universities responded to a Freedom of Information request. Their study reported that:

  • Staff training budgets, on average, were only £7,529 per year.
  • Nearly half of university staff (46%) hadn’t been offered data security training in the past year.
  • 27% of respondents said that their university had never used an external firm to perform a penetration test on their IT infrastructure.
  • Surprisingly, 54% of the universities had needed to report data breaches to the ICO in the last year.
  • 49% of universities had not offered proactive training to students.

Details: https://www.redscan.com/media/The-state-of-cyber-security-across-UK-universities-Redscan-report.pdf

If you have been harmed, in any way, by a data protection breach, please let us know and we will assess the merits of your claim for free.

Lowering Breaches In Cybersecurity And Criminal Hacks

So, now that we have provided statistics and case studies about recent university data breaches, we’re going to look at how they could be prevented. By no means are we cybersecurity experts, but there are some good practices that could help. They include:

  • Encrypting disks using software so they cannot be read if a device is stolen or lost.
  • Keeping devices up to date with the latest software and security patches.
  • Hiring a security company to assess the IT infrastructure for flaws so they can be fixed before criminals spot them.
  • Remembering to review and update privacy policies regularly.
  • Ensuring staff, contractors and students are offered adequate data security training.

As always, the cost of IT improvements might seem prohibitive. But, as we see it, improving IT security is a necessity. Not only could these measures prevent the harm caused by data breaches, but they may also prevent universities from being fined by the ICO.

Ways In Which You Could Be Compensated

We would like to say that making a compensation claim is as easy as telling the defendant how much money you’d like, but it’s not! Any compensation you request needs to be backed up by evidence. Additionally, as only one claim is allowed, you need to include any future suffering that might occur in your compensation request as well.

The initial part of a personal data breach claim will be for any money that has been lost. This is called material damages. The next part, non-material damages, could be claimed if you have suffered psychiatric injuries as a direct result of the breach such as stress; anxiety or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

When you claim for financial losses, you will begin by looking at any money you have already lost. Then you could calculate an amount for potential future losses too. As an example, if your credit record has been damaged because of identity theft, you may wish to claim for the additional cost you will incur if you are going to take out a mortgage in the near future.

On the same note, claims for psychiatric damage will start with injuries that you have already had diagnosed. Then you will be assessed by an independent medical specialist. If they diagnose that your injuries could cause ongoing problems, such as PTSD making it difficult for you to return to work, then additional compensation might be claimable.

Due to all of these considerations, our advice would always be to take on legal representation. If your case is accepted by Legal Expert, then we will provide you with a solicitor from our team. then they will look at all aspects of your suffering before filing a claim. Why not call our team today so that your case can be reviewed for free?

Calculating Compensation For Data Breach Claims Against Middlesex University

We shall now move on to look at how much compensation could be awarded when making any data breach claims. The figures we show in the table are general figures not specific to any company. We’ll start by explaining that, the Court of Appeal has decided that you can seek damages for psychiatric injuries regardless of whether have lost money or not. Compensation payment amounts should be set in line with personal injury claims.

To demonstrate how much might be paid for your injuries, we have supplied the table below. It contains figures from the Judicial College Guidelines which many legal professionals will turn to when deciding settlement amounts. After your case has been assessed properly, we should be in a position to provide a personalised compensation estimate for you.

Claim Type Severity Level Compensation Range Further Information
Psychiatric Damage – General Severe £51,460 to £108,620 In this settlement range, the victim is unlikely to improve with treatment. This will mean they are vulnerable in the future and will struggle to cope with day-to-day life, relationships and work. A very poor prognosis will be given.
Psychiatric Damage – General Moderately Severe £17,900 to £51,460 The victim will suffer from very serious symptoms like those listed above. However, in this category, a more optimistic prognosis will be given.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Severe £56,180 to £94,470 There will be permanent symptoms of PTSD in this category such as flashbacks, nightmares and suicidal ideation which prevent the victim from working or returning to normal levels of functioning.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Moderately Severe £21,730 to £56,180 Again, the victim will suffer significantly with similar symptoms as above but, with the support of a professional, there will be the hope of improvements.

To achieve the correct amount of compensation, medical evidence may be required to substantiate your claim. During the claims process, therefore, you may be asked to visit a local independent medical specialist. They will assess the effects of the data breach by asking several questions and reading through your medical records. Once the assessment is concluded, they will prepare a report with their findings and send it to your solicitor.

Getting The Right Solicitor For Your Case

Right, now that you understand why claims for university data breaches might be possible, you may now wish to find legal representation. Where do you find the best solicitor to help you, though? It might be possible to find one by reading reviews, searching your local area or asking a friend to recommend a solicitor to you. Or you could save yourself a lot of hassle and call the Legal Expert advice centre.

Our team of specialist advisors are waiting to answer any questions you want to raise. They’ll also look at the merits of your case on a no-obligation basis. If your case is accepted, we’ll appoint a solicitor to it for you. They will be available throughout the claims process to answer your questions. Also, they will provide updates as and when your case progresses. The main aim of our team of experienced solicitors is to try and ensure that every claimant receives the highest compensation settlement possible in their case.

Please call today for a free assessment of your case.

Could I Make A No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Middlesex University?

There are many people who put off seeking compensation because of the fear that they’ll lose a lot of money in solicitor fees. We understand that, and it’s the reason our team of experienced solicitors provide a No Win No Fee service for any claim they accept. By doing so, the claims process become less stressful as the financial risks are reduced.

At the start of the process, a solicitor will assess the viability of your claim. If they are willing to take it on, you will receive a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to review and sign. The CFA is used to fund your case and it sets out that:

  • No funds are requested from you before your claim begins.
  • You won’t be asked to pay charges or solicitor’s fees as the case proceeds.
  • You won’t be charged for your solicitor’s work if the case fails.

Should your solicitor go on to win the case, they will retain a small percentage of any compensation awarded. This ‘success fee’ is used to cover the cost of your solicitor’s work. The fee is listed clearly in your CFA so you can review it before signing. By law, success fees are capped so that you can’t be overcharged.

Please get in touch if you would like us to assess your eligibility to claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

Contact Us For Claims Advice

This is the penultimate section of our article about data breach claims against Middlesex University. If you would like to speak to us about your case, there are a number of ways to do so, including:

So that we don’t give you false hope, we will be completely open regarding your chances of receiving a compensation settlement. Our service starts with a no-obligation telephone consultation and free legal advice. If the advisor believes your case has strong enough grounds, you could be partnered with one of our solicitors. They will manage your case using our No Win No Fee service if they agree to take it on.

Resources And Additional Information

Thank you for visiting Legal Expert and reading this article about data breach claims against Middlesex University. We have tried to include all the details you’ll need to help you understand if you’re eligible to claim. In this section, we have listed some additional resources which could help you during the claims process. Furthermore, to demonstrate some of the other types of claims we’re able to help with, you’ll see a few more of our guides here too. If you have any further requirements, please feel free to get in touch.

ICO Monetary Penalties – Details of the latest fines served by the ICO.

Anxiety Tips – This NHS guide explains some useful things you can do to help manage anxiety.

Housing Disrepair Claims – Details on when you could claim compensation for suffering caused by unrepaired damage in your rented accommodation.

Bike Accident Claims – Information about making claims for injuries sustained in an accident caused by somebody else while riding a bike.

Medical Negligence – This article explains the scenarios where you could be compensated for harm caused by medical negligence.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Written By Hambridge

Edited By Melissa.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      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.

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