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North Tyneside Council Data Breach – Compensation Claims Guide

In this article, we’ll explain steps you could take should a North Tyneside Council data breach arise. To improve data security, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented when the Data Protection Act 2018 came into force. These laws control how organisations (data controllers) use personal data. They also give you (the data subject) more say over how your information is processed. Together, they are policed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

North Tyneside Council data breach claims guide

North Tyneside Council data breach claims guide

While the ICO has powers that mean they can investigate companies and take action against them, they can’t issue compensation to you. For that to happen, you could take legal action yourself. You will need to show how the incident has caused you to suffer if your claim is to be successful. This could include financial suffering or because you’ve been made ill with stress or anxiety. As we continue, we’ll explain what scenarios could lead to a claim. Furthermore, we’ll explain how the claims process works and how much you might receive as compensation

When Could You Claim For A Breach Of Your Data Privacy By A Council?

If you do want to discuss your claim, we are here to help. Legal Expert provides a no-obligation telephone consultation to review your case. You’ll also get free legal advice on your options. Where a case appears strong enough, we could appoint one of our data breach solicitors to it. Should they take you on as a client, you’ll benefit from their No Win No Fee service.

To find out more about what could potentially constitute a data breach at North Tyneside Council, why not call us on 0800 073 8804? To learn more about claiming before contacting us, please read on.

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A Guide About Claims For A North Tyneside Council Data Breach

It is fair to say that councils have become more efficient at getting things done these days. That’s largely to do with the fact that many tasks are now carried out online. For example, to apply to the councils housing waiting list in the past, you’d have to visit their offices, get an application form, fill it in and wait for a response. Nowadays, a few clicks on your phone and everything is done.

However, passing all of your personal data around the internet does present some risks. That’s why the GDPR was introduced. In a lot of cases, you need to give your express permission if your personal data is to be processed. That’s why you will see tick boxes and pop-up boxes almost every time you visit a website.

If the new rules are broken, and information about you is leaked following a data breach, you might be able to start a claim. However, claims can have a start time limit of just 1-year in many cases. Therefore, we’d suggest that you act quickly so that your solicitor has the time to deal with everything.

Once you have finished reading, please get in touch if you would like to clarify how long you have to claim. We’ll answer any other questions you may have and we’ll provide free legal advice on what to do next.

Rates Of Data Breaches

Until you are affected by a data breach, you might not think they happen that often. Thankfully, since the GDPR was brought in, there has been a lot more analysis of why data breaches happen and how often they occur.

In the government’s latest Cybersecurity Breaches Survey, figures reveal that:

  • 39% of businesses were targeted in cyberattacks within the past year.
  • For charities, 26% were attacked in a similar way.
  • Of those, 27% of businesses and 23% of charities said the attacks were a weekly occurrence.
  • Phishing attacks were the most common cause of cyber security instances.

What Could Be A North Tyneside Council Data Breach?

Within the GDPR document, you’ll find lots of useful definitions. One explains that a personal data breach is where data that could identify an individual is lost, destroyed, changed, disclosed or accessed unlawfully, without authorisation or accidentally following a security incident.

The fact that a breach has taken place won’t give you grounds to claim compensation though. For a solicitor to consider taking on your claim, you’ll need to show that the data controller failed to put measures in place to protect your personal data. As a result, you have suffered psychological and/or financial suffering.

For example, if hackers stole data from a council’s IT systems because their security software was out of date, you could be eligible to claim. If a council had maintained a good level of security, your claim would be less likely to be successful.

We understand it might not be immediately clear whether you have the grounds to claim. That’s why we are happy to review your case for free and offer free legal advice on your options.

Who Is Responsible For Ensuring UK GDPR Compliance?

Councils that need to process personal information will be deemed data controllers under the GDPR. There may be a North Tyneside Council data protection officer employed to help ensure the rules are adhered to. Essentially, there must be a lawful basis before any personal data is used. Furthermore, the council must be able to demonstrate how it complies with the following data processing principles:

  • Processing must use legal, fair and transparent methods.
  • All personal information needs to be up to date and correct.
  • Personal data can only be used for specified reasons.
  • The security of personal information must be paramount.
  • Only the personal data that is needed should be processed.
  • There is no time limit for retaining personal data. However, it shouldn’t be kept any longer than it is needed.

The rules of the GDPR apply to any personal information stored in computer systems. It also includes documentation stored within a filing system. If the rules of the Data Protection Act or the GDPR are broken, the ICO may choose to step in and investigate.

Types Of Data Breach Attacks

We’d like to stipulate that data breaches are not always caused by deliberate or illegal actions. It is possible to claim for the harm caused by an accidental data breach too. In the list below, we have included some scenarios that could result in a data breach compensation claim if they lead to any suffering:

  • Where employees are overheard discussing you in a public area.
  • If a laptop containing unencrypted personal data is lost.
  • Where your contact details are shared with a third party accidentally
  • If a letter that was meant for you is posted to the wrong person.
  • Where members of the public view personal information that has been posted accidentally on the website of a company.

Should it become apparent that a data breach has occurred, you should be informed without delay (if it puts you at risk). Additionally, the ICO must be informed within 72-hours.

Children’s Services And Housing Data Protection Breaches

We are now going to look at what types of documentation containing personal information might be held by a council. We won’t list everything here but the items we have included should give you some idea.

  • Care / Patient records. Social services and children’s services are likely to have records about vulnerable adults or children. These are highly likely to contain very sensitive information.
  • Tenancy agreements. These will have details about your home address as well as some of your contact details.
  • Identification documents. When applying to the housing waiting list, you may need to provide documents such as your passport or driver’s licence. Scans or photocopies of these documents may need to be stored.

If these documents made their way into the wrong hands, it could result in all sorts of problems. ID documents could be used by criminals meaning you could lose money. Furthermore, you might be anxious or embarrassed about the thought of your information being in the public domain. That is the reason councils must take preventative measures to try and keep your data safe.

Report A Data Breach Of The GDPR UK

So, if you suspect a data breach has happened at North Tyneside Council, what should you do? Well, you could report it to the ICO. Or first, you could try and resolve the matter yourself.

  1. Complain formally to the council in the first instance.
  2. When they reply, escalate the complaint further if you’re not happy with their response.
  3. If you’re still not happy, you can report the breach to the ICO. They state that you should wait no longer than 3-months have passed since you heard anything meaningful.

Often, an amicable agreement can be reached with the defendant after enough evidence is provided. Therefore, we’d suggest that you discuss your case with your solicitor in the first instance. They will advise whether you should involve the ICO or not.

Want to start the ball rolling? If so, speak to our team on the number above today.

Claim For A Breach Of The Data Protection Act

We will now briefly explain how we believe it is best to proceed if you do decide to make a data breach claim. We’d suggest that you:

  • Start by collecting evidence. This may include financial documents, medical records or correspondence from the council confirming the breach.
  • Call our team and let an advisor review your case for free.

Starting your claim is really easy. We won’t waste any time in reviewing what’s happened and how you’ve suffered. If we believe your claim has strong grounds, we could refer it to a data breach lawyer for you. If they agree to work for you, they will do so on a No Win No Fee basis.

Damages For A Breach Of The GDPR

It would be really nice if you could contact a defendant, tell them how much compensation you’d like and they pay it. That’s not the way things work though! Instead, every penny of your claim has to be explained and backed up with evidence. Data breach claims allow for two separate elements to your claim:

  • Material damages. These are used to claim back any monetary losses.
  • Non-material damages. The part of your claim that’s based on any suffering caused by stress, anxiety or similar psychiatric injuries.

An example of a material damages claim is where you request money that’s been stolen from your bank account. This might be the case if your details were used in identity theft following a data breach. For non-material damages, you could claim if you have suffered mental health issues. However, claims don’t stop there.

As you can only claim once, it is important to think about any future suffering too. To do that, you may need a medical assessment as part of your claim. Our solicitors can usually arrange these at local venues. The appointment will be conducted by an independent specialist. They’ll review medical records and ask questions about the impact of the data breach. This will then be recorded in a report. If the prognosis is that you’ll suffer for some time, this will be factored into your claim.

We believe that you can improve your chances of being compensated by having a specialist solicitor on your side. If your claim is accepted, one of our solicitors will take the time to fully understand how you’ve suffered and try to include everything within the claim.

We’re here to help if you’re considering claiming so why not get in touch today?

Calculating Payouts For A North Tyneside Council Data Breach

To give some idea of how much compensation might be paid as non-material damages, we’ve included a table of settlement ranges below. It uses data from the Judicial College publication as solicitors settling personal injury claims may calculate awards this way.

Because of a 2015 hearing at the Court of Appeal a Judge ruled that where a claimant has suffered psychological injuries resulting from a data breach, compensation should be considered. The award will be set using personal injury values.

Type of SufferingPotential Compensation RangeCategory
Psychiatric Harm (General)£51,460 to £108,620Severe
£17,900 to £51,460Deemed moderately severe
£5,500 to £17,900Moderate symptoms
Up to £5,500Less serious symptoms
PTSD - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder£56,180 to £94,470Severe
£21,730 to £56,180Deemed moderately severe
£7,680 to £21,730Deemed moderate
Up to £7,680Less serious symptoms

Please remember, these figures should only be used as guidance. Each claim is different and the amount awarded will be based on the severity of each injury. If you would like to know more about compensation levels, please call today.

No Win No Fee Damages Claims For A North Tyneside Council Data Breach

By choosing to claim with Legal Expert if your data breach compensation claim is accepted, your solicitor will work on a No Win No Fee basis. That means that you don’t pay their fees unless you are compensated.

After your case has been reviewed, your solicitor will provide you with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This will show you what needs to happen before you need to pay any fees to your solicitor. When a case is won, you’ll pay a success fee which is listed in the CFA. It is a fixed percentage of your compensation that’s legally capped to prevent any overcharging.

Want to check if you can claim using our No Win No Fee solution? If so, please call.

Data Protection Breach Solicitors Covering North Tyneside

While you could try to find a law firm in the North Tyneside area, you could also call our advice line to start your claim. Our solicitors are registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority and offer a No Win No Fee service for any claim they take on. What’s more, we provide an efficient service by processing claims remotely. That means you’ll deal with us by email, on the phone and online or you can arrange to meet your solicitor in person.

If you’d like to know a bit more about what could potentially constitute a North Tyneside Council data breach, call our team. You can also take a look at our reviews.

Talk To A Solicitor Online

Thank you for reading our guide on steps to take should a  North Tyneside Council data breach occur. If you would like to discuss whether we could help you claim, you can:

We don’t charge for your initial consultation or the advice we’ll provide in it. Therefore, there’s nothing to lose by calling Legal Expert today.

Useful Resources

In this section, we have added some links to similar guides and some helpful external resources.

The Local Government Association – The body representing over 350 English and Welsh local authorities.

Introduction To Data Protection – Basic data protection principles provided by the ICO.

Action Fraud – The police department that investigates crimes such as identity theft.

Loss Of Personal Data – This guide shows what you can do if an organisation loses information about you.

Data Breaches By Schools – Advice on what action you could take against a school responsible for a data breach.

Breaches At Social Services – Information on claiming if care records or other social services documents are exposed by a data breach.

Data Protection Breach Victim FAQs

How much compensation can you get for a data breach?

There is no set level of compensation in data breach claims. Each case will vary as settlements are based on your level of suffering. For example, if you suffered from anxiety for a few months, you would be compensated at a lower level than somebody who’d had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the data breach.

What to do if you are a victim of a data breach?

If you are harmed by a data breach, you should complain directly to the company involved. If you don’t agree with their response you have a couple of choices. Firstly, you could take legal action against them to claim compensation. Secondly, you could ask the ICO to investigate. Just because a data breach has occurred does not automatically entitle you to claim.

Can I get compensated for a data breach?

You are not automatically entitled to compensation if you are told about a data breach. The GDPR says that you could claim material damages (financial losses) and non-material damages (distress and psychological injuries) in a valid case.

What happens if someone breaches the Data Protection Act?

If an organisation is involved in a data breach, it may need to inform the ICO within 72-hours. Where they find that laws like the DPA have been broken, the organisation could face a severe financial penalty. They could also receive an enforcement notice to change the ways in which they handle personal data.

Thanks for reading our article about your rights if a North Tyneside Council data breach ever occurred.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Guide by Hambridge

Edited By Melissa.

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