Oxford City Council Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Oxford City Council Data Breach
My Private Data Was Shared By The Local Council, Can I Claim?
This guide will explore Oxford City Council data breach claims. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced in 2018. It was enacted into UK law by the Data Protection Act 2018 to alter the way that local authorities and other organisations manage our personal data.
he GDPR obliges organisations to follow certain rules and procedures to ensure that data is kept safe. This means your data should only be used in ways you allow and are comfortable with.
However, sometimes organisations breach this duty by failing to take positive steps to secure data or make mistakes. This can lead to issues such as a potential leak and exposed data.
If you’ve suffered a data protection breach, you may be able to claim Oxford City Council data breach compensation if you can prove it was the council’s fault and you suffered damage to your finances or mental health. Our team of advisers are always available to chat with you about your situation and figure out your next steps.
If you have a valid data breach claim, they can connect you to our lawyers who can commence the data breach claims process. You can get in touch with our expert team of advisers by:
- Calling them on 0800 073 8804 to receive 24/7 free legal advice about your privacy breach.
- Chatting with an adviser via our live chat pop-up box to discuss filing a personal data breach claim.
- Filling in our online claims form to receive a response at your earliest convenience.
Select A Section
- A Guide On Oxford City Council Data Breach Compensation Claims
- How Many Council Related Data Breaches Occurred In 2021
- What Is An Oxford City Council Data Breach Claim?
- Do Local Authorities Have To Comply With GDPR Rules?
- The Oxford City Council Data Breach
- Tenancy Document And Rent Statement Data Breaches
- Do You Have To Report The Breach To The ICO When Making A Claim?
- Can You Sue For A Breach Of Data Protection Rights?
- What Material And Non-Material Damages Could You Claim?
- Calculating Oxford City Council Data Breach Compensation Claims
- No Win No Fee Oxford City Council Data Breach Claims
- How To Find The Right Help And Advice For Your Case
- Start Your Claim
- Where To Learn More About Data Breach Claims
- Data Protection FAQs
Firstly, this article will look at how many council related data breaches occurred in 2021 and what an Oxford City Council data breach claim is. Next, there’ll be a section exploring whether local authorities have to comply with GDPR rules.
There will then be a section discussing what occurred during a specific Oxford City Council data breach. Furthermore, it will talk about the tenancy agreement and rent statement data breaches.
The guide will then explore whether you must report data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) when making a data breach compensation claim. Additionally, it will look at how you can sue for a breach of data protection rights.
The article then has a section discussing the types of compensation you can claim, namely material and non-material damages. Moreover, there will be a compensation table showing potential awards for the psychological effects a data breach can have on someone. This will portray how much compensation some data breach claims are worth.
After this, there’ll be a section looking at No Win No Fee agreements, what this means, and how our data breach solicitors work on this basis. To finish the article off, our team of advisers’ contact details will be included as well as some further guides and FAQs to ensure you’re as informed as possible about making a data breach claim.
The table below conveys the number of security breaches within local government reported to the ICO in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. This shows how common data breaches are in the UK.
According to recent statistics released by the ICO, there were 32 more security breaches in the first three months of 2021 compared to the preceding three months
This shows that despite the new rules stated in the GDPR, the number of data breaches in the UK could be increasing. It remains to be seen if the trend continues to rise in future quarterly statistics.
Nobody should have to worry about being the victim of a data leak, so our team of advisers is always on hand to discuss your situation and assess whether you’re eligible to claim data breach compensation.
According to the GDPR, a data breach is when someone’s personal information is altered, damaged, lost, disclosed, stolen, or accessed without their permission or knowledge. It can happen with physical copies of the information or online.
Whether this data breach is accidental or on purpose, it’s still illegal if it can be shown that the council should have done more to prevent it. Even if no harm occurred, Oxford City Council could still receive a data breach fine from the ICO. This is because the council may have breached their obligations to keep personal information safe and private.
Here are some potential Oxford City Council data breach examples:
- Council Email Data Breach – An example of this is if someone within the organisation accidentally sends an email containing private data to the wrong recipient. There have been cases in the past, such as the 56 Dean Street Clinic breach, where a failure to add people’s email addresses to the blind carbon copy (BCC) section of an email led to the disclosure of hundreds of private email addresses, and an ICO fine (Source: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/09/london-hiv-clinic-fined-180000-for-revealing-service-users-names).
- Documents Accidentally Left On Public Transport – Data breaches often occur due to human error. If someone who works for Oxford City Council accidentally leaves a bag filled with important documents on a train, for example, someone could open the bag and have access to your personal information.
- Letter Sent To The Wrong Address – If Oxford City Council writes you a letter but sends it to the wrong address, the wrong person could open your letter and see your details. This is a dangerous form of data breach that could reveal your private information. As per the GDPR, the council must ensure that your personal information is up to date.
The introduction of GDPR means organisations are obliged to tell you why they want access to your personal information, who they’d like to share it with, and how they plan to use it. More importantly, you must give them permission to do any of this.
Moreover, when paying for council tax and giving information to the local council, you’re required to tick boxes informing them how you’d like your data to be used. These are a few examples of how GDPR guidelines are present in our daily lives, but there are many more that you may not even notice.
However, there are circumstances in which local councils don’t need your permission to share data. For example, your local council may need to share your tax data with HMRC, or your medical records with social services. For more, check out this ICO guide on whether or not an organisation needs your consent.
In July 2021, an Oxford City Council data breach occurred when letters regarding rent payments were sent to the wrong addresses. This resulted in people not reading the name on the front of the letter before opening it and finding other people’s personal information.
The city council states that the transfer of data from an old system to a new system caused a small number of rent statements to be delivered to the wrong address. This meant that some people had access to a stranger’s address, name, reference number, payment details, payment reference, and date.
Firstly, this is problematic as these people didn’t consent to their private information being given to strangers. It’s a violation of privacy that they didn’t agree to. Secondly, data breaches are extremely dangerous as they could lead to identity theft. This possibility often has a significant impact on the victims’ mental wellbeing.
It could result in residents no longer trusting the Oxford City Council to handle their sensitive, private information as they worry there may be another data breach. The council referred the matter to the ICO and their findings are yet to be announced.
Here’s some information that local authorities often hold about tenants:
- Tenancy documents – Local authorities often hold people’s tenancy agreements and keep them safe. If this data is breached, it could result in companies sending unwanted letters to tenants. If a data breach happens, the victim may be able to make a data breach compensation claim if they suffer damage to their mental health or finances.
- Passport data – A passport data breach can result in identity theft, which is extremely dangerous. Identity theft can result in people conducting criminal activity around the world in someone else’s name.
- Rent statements – Rent statements include sensitive information, such as how much someone has paid, how much they owe, their address, their name, a payment date, and a payment reference. This information being leaked could result in companies sending letters to the address asking for money from the renter.
Here are some examples of tenancy document and rent statement data breaches:
- Posting a letter with private information to the tenant’s old address when they’ve provided the new one. This is a breach and you may be able to claim data breach compensation if you suffered damage as a result. Your information shouldn’t be shared with anyone if you haven’t given consent.
- Failure to redact information when sending an information pack to local landowners. Personal information shouldn’t be sent to anyone if you haven’t given permission. This could be classed as a data breach and you may be entitled to compensation.
If you’ve experienced an Oxford City Council data breach, our advisers can have a chat with you to learn more about your situation. If you have a valid claim, they can connect you with our solicitors who can discuss helping you claim compensation.
The ICO is responsible for investigating data breaches when they’re reported. However, before reporting a data breach to the ICO, it’s recommended that you put a formal complaint forward to the authority that’s breached your data.
Once you’ve received a response from the authority, you can decide whether you’re satisfied with the findings. Once you’ve done as much as you can in terms of following the complaints procedure, or if you get a response you don’t feel satisfied with, you may decide to report the breach to the ICO.
This is usually done around 3 months after the last meaningful contact you had with the council. Please note that the ICO can’t award you compensation. They have the power to fine the liable authority, but this won’t directly compensate you.
You also don’t have to report the breach to the ICO at all if you don’t want to, but it’s an available option if you’d like to get to the bottom of what happened. There’s also no need to delay seeking legal advice, so you can contact our team of advisers today for help with your situation.
If you’d like to discuss pursuing an Oxford City Council data breach claim, you can get in touch with our friendly team of advisers. This is where the process of pursuing compensation could begin. One of our advisers will have a chat with you about your situation and assess the strength of your potential case.
If you have a valid claim, our team of advisers will connect you with our expert data breach solicitors to begin working on your claim. Sometimes, they may make a suggestion that you report a data breach to the ICO to get more information.
Alternatively, they may suggest the best option is to pursue a claim against Oxford City Council for a data breach. If this happens, they’ll begin the claims process without involving the ICO.
You can contact our team of advisers today to learn which course of action is best for your claim.
The above sections discuss why someone may make an Oxford City Council data breach claim, but this section will be looking at what can be included in the claim. Compensation awards in these types of claims can be split into material and non-material damages.
Material damages compensate you for the financial loss you’ve experienced due to the data breach. For example, if a criminal has your bank details, they may steal money from your account and leave you with nothing.
Furthermore, you may suffer a long-term financial loss too. An example of this could be an inability to receive credit for a number of years as a criminal has stolen your personal information.
In terms of non-material damages, this accounts for the psychological effect the data breach has had on you. For example, it’s likely to have caused you stress and anxiety. Moreover, you could suffer a long-term mental impact, such as paranoia and worry that it may happen again.
Material and non-material damages will need to be included in one claim. Once the claim is done, you can’t ask the local council for more compensation (even if the reason is valid).
Working with a data breach lawyer can help you to ensure you’ve included all forms of harm in one claim and not forgotten anything. You can have a chat with our experienced team of advisers today to assess whether you could be entitled to compensation.
Some articles may include a compensation calculator, but this may not be accurate or helpful in this instance. This is because each data breach claim is unique and the circumstances differ.
Instead, we’ve included a table to convey how much compensation some psychological injuries may be valued at. This table is purely for example purposes and figures may vary.
Injury: Severity: Notes: Compensation:
Mental Anguish Severe Scared of impending death. £4,380
Psychiatric Damage Generally Severe Abuse of trust causing anxiety. Unable to work or partake in social activities. Chance of recovery is poor. £51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric Damage Generally Moderate Similar to above but chance of recovery is higher. £17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric Damage Generally Less Severe Minor symptoms of stress and anxiety that resolve fully within a short space of time Up to £5,500
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Very Severe Brain Damage Individual is unable to return to work and can’t function the same as they did before the trauma occurred. £56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate Person has mostly recovered and the remaining symptoms aren’t severe. £7,680 to £21,730
The case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc  was a landmark decision in data breach law. The Court of Appeal looked at how victims of data breaches should be compensated. It was decided that compensation could be sought for either mental or financial damage. The significant point of this is that before the case, financial damage was required in order to seek compensation for mental harm too. Now you can claim for either.
Therefore, we can include mental anguish, psychiatric damage generally, and post-traumatic stress disorder in the table above. You can contact our team of advisers to learn more.
Our lawyers can discuss working on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. A No Win No Fee agreement is a contract between you and your lawyer.
If your claim fails, you don’t have to pay your lawyer’s fees. If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a small, legally capped percentage from your compensation award. You will receive the majority of your compensation.
There’s little to lose when working with a lawyer under a No Win No Fee agreement, which is why it’s popular with claimants. You can contact our team of advisers today to see if you have a valid claim.
When looking for the best lawyer to handle your case, you don’t just have to look locally. You can also look online for reviews, such as some of ours from satisfied past clients.
Our team of advisers are here to help and support you 24 hours a day. They can connect you with our data breach solicitors to aid you in finding the help you need.
The time limit to making a claim to receive compensation for a data breach is 6 years for a privately-owned organisation. However, if the case involves a council or some other public authority, the time limit is just 12 months. The clock is ticking, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of advisers. And this is especially true when you consider that various factors, not least the nature of the breach, will determine your time limit.
You can contact our team of advisers today to receive 24/7 free legal advice. After this, you don’t have to continue with our services. However, if you’d like, an advisor can connect you with our data breach solicitors if your claim is valid.
You can get in touch with our friendly team of advisers by:
- Giving them a call on 0800 073 8804 to have a chat about your situation.
- Filling out our online claims form to receive a reply whenever is best for you.
- Having a chat with one of our advisers through our live chat pop-up box for an instant reply.
This section includes some further guides to ensure you have as much information as possible about data breach claims.
To learn more about housing association data breaches, head here.
Learn how to report a data breach here.
Or visit this guide to discover more about local council data breaches.
Report A Breach – You can click this link to report a data breach to the ICO.
Personal data breaches – This guide looks at what personal data breaches are and how to report a breach to the ICO.
How do I know if I was affected by the Oxford City Council data breach?
Oxford City Council should have written to apologise to the victims of this data breach.
Can data controllers share my information with third parties?
Data controllers cannot legally share your information with third parties without asking for your consent beforehand. However, there are certain circumstances when they can do so, such as a legal obligation to share (such as with HMRC for tax purposes), or if there is a threat to life.
What data protection principles should local authorities follow?
Local authorities must follow the guidelines set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
What is the UK’s Data Protection Act?
The UK’s Data Protection Act controls how your personal information is used by the government, authorities, and organisations. This keeps your data confidential.
Thank you for reading our guide about the Oxford City Council data breach.
Guide by Naylor
Edited by Billing