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Peterborough City Council Data Breach Claims

The laws that protect our personal data have seen an overhaul in recent years. So, in this guide to steps, you could take if a Peterborough City Council data breach occurred we examine new regulations and legislation. Legally, Peterborough City Council must protect your personal data.  Therefore, this guide aims to provide you with criteria for making a data breach claim and the process of starting a claim.

Peterborough City Council data breach claims guide

Peterborough City Council data breach claims guide

However, something you need to understand, is that your claim will undoubtedly have some unique aspects. Because of this, we may not cover every possible question that you have in this guide. In short, there are too many potential circumstances that could lead to a claim to include on one page. But, we can still answer these questions for you. In short, you can contact our claims team on 0800 073 8804. This phone line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call it to speak to an advisor who will answer all of your questions. They can also explain to you how we can help you to get your claim started.

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A Guide To How Would You Deal With A Peterborough City Council Data Breach?

This guide shall assess the criteria for claiming should a Peterborough City Council data protection breach occur. We will give you all of the basic information you need to be able to make educated decisions about your case.

The guide begins with a graph showing the causes of data security incidents in local government. This is followed by a basic explanation of what a data breach is. The applicable laws and the types of data they protect are also covered.

Next, we move on to the responsibilities of the local authority to protect data. We have provided a number of examples of how data can be compromised if these responsibilities are not met.

Reporting and complaining about a data breach is covered next. Additionally, we will also explain the appropriate stage to begin the claims process. Furthermore, we cover financial considerations in their own sections. Namely, a discussion of why you might claim damages, and also an example compensation table are provided. No Win No Fee agreements are introduced and explained as well.

The final few sections of this guide give some basic advice on how to get your claim underway. Additionally, we have included some useful links and answers to common data breach claim questions.

Claim Time Limits

Something to understand is that you must start a claim for a possible data breach within the correct deadline. And that this deadline will be driven by the circumstances of the claim.

In general, you will have up to six years to bring a data breach claim. However, when bringing a data breach claim against a public body, this deadline can be one year. As the council is a public body, this is likely the time limit that will apply.

Some other factors can have an impact on the deadline as well. Probably the best advice here is to call our claims team and explain your situation. They can then tell you exactly which deadline is applicable.

Must Know Cyber Security Statistics

Here, we are going to provide a graph that will visualise the common causes of data breaches in local government. The data for this graph came from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Further down this page, we will talk about how the ICO is the regulatory body that policies privacy laws in the UK. But for now, we are just going to use one of the publicly available datasets the ICO provides to publish this graph.

Local Government Data Incidents

Local Government Data Incidents

What Could A Peterborough City Council Data Breach Be?

As we will see below, there are rules and regulations in the UK that protect specific types of data. It is the legal obligation of your local council to generally adhere to all of the rules that apply. If a data controller such as the council or any other organisation that process personal data fails to adhere to the laws that are set to protect our data the ICO can issue large fines.

Unlawful access or use of your data could result in trauma, stress or mental harm. It could also be a direct cause of potentially significant financial loss. Therefore, you may be able to claim for both of these reasons. However, the onus is going to be on you, the claimant, to prove liability. You will need to show that the data controller failed to take all proper steps to keep your data safe. Only then, would a claim be possible. For some more advice on the viability of your claim, call and speak to one of our claim advisors.

Laws And Regulations

Before Brexit, it was the European Union (EU) version of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that applied in the UK. However, this situation has now changed, and it is the UK specific version, UK GDPR that apples. As well as other bodies of legislation such as the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).

Types Of Protected Data

Not all data is safeguarded by UK GDPR. Only specific types of data about you that could be exploited in some way are protected. Namely, personal data and special category data. As explained below.

  • Personal data – this is all of the information that directly refers to you. Data that you basically own, that is unique to you in some way. For example, your name and date of birth, your postal address and your telephone numbers. Additionally, key financial information such as bank account numbers and card information.
  • Special category data – this is all derivative data. Information that relates to you, but is not uniquely identifying. For example, trade union membership, or data about your genome, or your race and religious beliefs. Also things like medical records and financial records.

If a Peterborough City Council data breach happened how would you know if your personal information had been breached? According to the ICO if your freedoms and risks are vulnerable due to a data leak they must inform the ICO within 72 hours and report what has happened to you.

Are Local Authorities Exempt From The GDPR?

Generally, any organisation that stores and processes your personal data has to follow UK GDPR. In most cases, following the guidelines and seven pillars of UK GDPR are enough to keep your data safe. They are covered below.

  • A time limit should be set, on the amount of time that your data is kept for.
  • A storage limitation should be set, on the type of data that is stored about you.
  • All personal and special data must be stored and processed in confidentiality.
  • The integrity and accuracy of your data must be maintained.
  • Keep data safe
  • A purpose limitation must be put on your data
  • The council must act with lawfulness, fairness and transparency when storing or processing your data.

Types Of Breaches In Council Data Security

The local council data protection policy has to protect your personal and special data. To prevent a Peterborough City Council data breach from occurring the council must put in place procedures and systems that protect your identifiable information.

Data breaches can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes data is leaked because of cybercrime. Hackers infiltrate computer systems and expose your personal information. Other times data breaches can happen due to human error. For instance, an email containing your personal data is sent to the wrong email address by accident. Below we look at other potential scenarios.

  • A data protection breach is the result of physical files containing your data being disposed of incorrectly. Without following safety requirements.
  • In some cases, a data breach could be the result of a cybercriminal exploiting a vulnerability in cybersecurity. Therefore, your data could be exposed to unlawful access and fraudulent use.
  • Your personal information is shared with a third party outside of the council, that has not been given permission to have it.

Please call and speak to our team for more information about the data breach claim process.

Breaches Of Social Housing Rental Data

People who are public housing tenants, or have frequent dealings with Social Services, accrue a large volume of data that is stored by the council. This data, in general, needs to be safeguarded. However, if a mistake was to lead to a Peterborough City Council data breach would this mean this personal data was exposed?

The list below looks at examples of information held by a council and how it has the potential to be leaked;

  • A rent statement data breach is caused by your rent payment history being shared with a third party. Or digitally stored data such as scans of tenancy audit documents being left open on a computer screen where anyone can see it.
  • Social Services data breaches expose information about your family or yourself to an unauthorised party.
  • Paperwork such as tenancy documents are sent to a landlord, but there was a failure to redact information.

Making An ICO Data Breach Complaint

If you suspect a data breach there are a couple of things you can do. First, you can submit a Subject Access Request (SAR) to a Peterborough City Council Data Protection Officer (DPO). You can ask the DPO whether there has been a data breach They should be able to tell you if any unauthorised party has had access to information about you.

Next, the ICO can be contacted. As part of its duties, the ICO investigates reports and complaints about data breaches. However, you have to make the report within three months from when you last discussed it with the council. In short, the ICO won’t like follow up on a complaint older than three months.

Taking Your Council To Court

Having a solicitor support your case is not mandatory. However, the benefits they can bring may be the all-important difference between a successful case and one that fails. They have the capabilities and legal knowledge to know how to file your case correctly.

We can provide you with an experienced claims solicitor to process your case. All you have to do to get started is call and talk to one of our claim advisors.

What Consequences And Damages Could I Claim For?

If your data breach claim is a success, you will have two potential sources of damages. Firstly, financial loss. If your data is accessed and used in a fraudulent manner, you could face significant losses. As an example, if a cybercriminal steals your digital identity, and uses it to take out new cash loans. Additionally, there will be costs associated with the claims process itself. For example, you might need to use a courier service to send documents to your solicitor. In both cases, you may be able to claim these monetary losses back.

Secondly, you may be able to claim for stress, mental hardship and trauma. Dealing with a data breach can be traumatising. Especially if you wake up to find you suddenly face thousands of pounds of additional debt. You could be able to claim for this stress and mental trauma. There was a case in 2015, heard at the Court of Appeal that set a precedent for this. The case was Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. The claimants suffered no monetary loss, yet were still able to claim damages for psychological harm. Therefore, there is a chance that you could do the same.

Calculating Damages For A Peterborough City Council Data Breach

Every clam will be unique in some way. Making it impossible to give an average compensation amount. The good news is, you can use our compensation calculator to get a rough idea of how much you might win in compensation. Alternatively, you can use this example compensation table. It is based on guidelines produced by the Judicial College.

Severity of Damage Health Condition LikelyCompensation More Facts
Less severe Psychiatric damage Up to £5,500 A bracket of less severe mental harm. It would likely be caused by a stressful or shocking experience. After recuperation, the victim will more than likely recover almost completely, with only some trivial ongoing mental health issues.
Severe Psychiatric damage £51,460 – £108,620 A bracket of severe mental harm. It would likely be caused by exposure to repeated trauma. The symptoms would have a major impact on the victim’s life quality. After recuperation, the victim will more than likely still suffer a significant level of mental health problems.
Moderate Psychiatric damage £5,500 – £17,900 A bracket of moderate mental harm. It would likely be caused by a somewhat traumatic event. The symptoms would have a measurable effect on the victim’s life quality. After recuperation, the victim may face some ongoing yet minor mental health problems.
Moderately severe Psychiatric damage £17,900 – £51,460 A bracket of moderately severe mental harm. Probably caused by a very traumatic event. The symptoms would have a significant impact on the victim’s life quality. After recuperation, the victim will almost certainly face some ongoing mental health issues.

No Win No Fee Damages Claims For A Peterborough City Council Data Breach

If you have come across the term No Win No Fee before, you likely have an idea of what this means. Commonly, advertisements promote this type of legal agreement for making personal injury claims. But, you can also engage a solicitor under a No Win No Fee agreement to help you to make a claim for a data breach.

You would not pay any upfront fees for the solicitor to start processing your claim. And not ongoing fees would be collected while the claim is being processed. If the claim fails, your lawyer won’t expect to be paid a fee at all. However, if the claim is won, you will likely have to pay a small, legally limited success fee to your solicitor.

How Legal Expert Could Help You

Thank you for reading this guide about rights should a Peterborough City Council data breach arise.

To get started, just call our claims team and explain what has happened to you. They will walk you through the claims process. If your claim is viable, they can organise one of our expert lawyers to begin processing it for you. Any claim taken on will be pursued using our No Win No Fee terms.

Contact A Specialist Data Protection Solicitor

Do you need some more free claims advice? Or maybe you are ready to start your data breach claim right now? Whatever you need, our claims team can help. Use the details below to contact them any time of the day or night.

Telephone: 0800 073 8804

Use our webchat or fill in a contact request.

Useful Information

Here are some more useful guides for you to read over.

Here are some useful external links as well.

Learning What Information Is Stored About You

Data Breach Reporting

Data Protection Breach FAQs

Below are a few simple answers to the kinds of questions you may have about a data breach claim.

Does there need to be a criminal prosecution for me to claim?

No, a compensation claim would be a civil case.

How long will my claim take?

This will depend on the circumstances of your claim. Call our claims team for a rough estimate.

Who else should I report the data protection breach to?

You can report a data breach to the ICO within three months of speaking to the data controller about the data breach.

Thank you for reading this guide about rights should a Peterborough City Council data breach arise.

Guide By Wheeler

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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