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

I Have Been Affected By A Data Breach At Plymouth Marjon University, Could I Make A Claim?

In this article, we are going to explain why data breach compensation claims against Plymouth Marjon University might be justified. In reality, though, the details we’ll provide could be about any university. The reason universities might be targeted by criminals is because of the large amounts of sensitive and personal information they hold on staff, students and alumni. In this article, we’ll consider what harm can be caused if that information is stolen and why you could claim compensation.

Plymouth Marjon University data breach claims guide

Plymouth Marjon University data breach claims guide

Data privacy laws have been tightened over the past couple of years because of the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) and The Data Protection Act 2018. These pieces of legislation now mean that you (the data subject) are given a lot more control over any organisation that wants to use your information (the data controller).

Also, the GDPR says that data controllers must take steps to keep any personal information as secure as possible. When data protection laws are broken, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have the power to initiate an investigation and fine guilty companies. Moreover, you may be entitled to claim for any harm caused.

Legal Expert can help you claim compensation for the harm caused by data breaches. Our team offers free claims advice and can assess your claim without any obligation. If the case seems strong enough, you could be referred to one of our experienced solicitors. Any case that they agree to work on will be handled on a No Win No Fee basis.

Why not call our advice line today on 0800 073 8804 for a free assessment of your case? If you’d like to know more about your options before calling, please carry on reading.

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A Guide On Data Breach Claims Against Plymouth Marjon University

There is little doubt that the GDPR has forced companies to change the way they work with personal data. Many everyday tasks have changed following the implementation of the new rules. For instance, if you join a new gym, register with a dentist, shop online or join a university, you’ll find the application form has grown somewhat. You’ll now see a lot of information about how the organisation will use your data. There will also be pop-up boxes or tick boxes asking you to agree to your data being used.

These measures have been implemented because the rules of the GDPR state you must be made aware of why personal data is needed and you must agree to it being used. Furthermore, after your preferences have been recorded, your information must not be used in ways that you’ve not allowed.

Another rule of the GDPR is that processes must be implemented to try and keep your information safe. While personal data breaches can lead to an ICO investigation which results in a financial penalty, it won’t mean you’re automatically compensated. Instead, you must start your own legal case if you’ve been harmed by the breach.

Claims for data breaches are time-limited. In many cases, you’ll have 6-years to begin legal proceedings. However, you may wish to check how long you have left to claim as some cases involving human rights breaches have just 1-year to be made. We would advise that if you begin your case as early as possible, it may be easier to get hold of evidence to support your claim. Additionally, you may find it a lot easier to recall how you were affected.

Please call our advice team today if you would like free information on how to proceed.

What Are Data Breaches At Plymouth Marjon University?

When data breaches appear in newspapers or on news websites, they are usually large-scale events involving some sort of cybercrime. For instance, you will often hear about cases involving distributed denial of service attacks, phishing emails, viruses, malware and ransomware. But did you know that the GDPR covers any type of personal information that is stored, ranging from records on computer systems to paperwork stored in offices?

As an example, the ICO recently issued a fine to a pharmacy in London because they had thousands of patient records that contained a lot of sensitive information stored in unlocked containers at the back of its premises.

The definition of personal data breaches within the GDPR is an event caused by a security issue which means personally identifiable data is lost, destroyed, disclosed, altered or accessed by unauthorised parties. It doesn’t matter if the action that caused the breach to take place was deliberate, accidental or illegal, the ICO can still investigate the matter.

Data controllers are legally obliged to let the ICO know if they become aware of such a breach. At the same time, they have to start an investigation to find out when the breach took place, what information was accessed, and how the event occurred. If there is the potential for any data subject to be harmed, then they must be made aware of the investigation as well.

For free advice on claiming for a university data breach, please get in touch with a member of our team today.

Applying The General Data Protection Regulation To Higher Education Institutions

So, how does the GDPR apply in terms of universities? Well, in most cases, they will be defined as data controllers within the scope of the legislation. The GDPR documentation has some clearly defined responsibilities that data controllers must follow. For example, there are a set of principles that relate to the processing of personal information. That means universities must:

  • Explain why personal information is required to all data subjects.
  • Only process data using legal methods that are transparent and fair.
  • Not keep personal information for any longer than it is needed (there is no maximum length of time defined though).
  • Only collect the information that is needed to meet the objectives of the processing.
  • Keep personal records up to date or allow data subjects to make updates.
  • Process any personal data securely and in a confidential manner.

The type of information the GDPR is concerned with is anything that could be used to identify a data subject. Some examples include details like name, address, enrolment number, staff ID number, email address or telephone numbers. Additionally, some data about protected characteristics could help indirectly identify an individual, so these are covered too. Examples include information about disability, age, race or sexual orientation.

Has Plymouth Marjon University Suffered Any Data Protection Breaches?

At the time of writing, Plymouth Marjon University is not recorded on the ICO website has having suffered a data breach. Therefore, in this section, we’re going to refer to a breach that caused a lot of anxiety as it affected multiple British Universities.

The Blackbaud hack happened in May 2020. The company sells a cloud-based database system that many universities use to keep in touch with their alumni. When the breach was discovered, Blackbaud investigated and found data had been illegally downloaded from its servers. They later received a ransom demand as well.

Following the investigation, Blackbaud contacted affected customers who, in turn, told their alumni, staff and students to remain vigilant while the investigation continued. Initially, the company said that payment information and passwords were not included in the breach, but this was later revealed to be the case for some records according to one news report.

To resolve the issue, Blackbaud took the unrecommended action of paying the ransom so that the data would be destroyed.

News article: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54370568

How Many Data Breaches Happen At Universities?

A recent study relating to university data breaches has revealed some shocking figures. Although you might think levels of security incidents are low, the report, based on answers from 86 universities, found that:

  • The average annual budgets for staff data safety training were only £7,529 per university.
  • 49% of students are not offered any proactive data security training.
  • 54% of universities self-referred themselves to the ICO following data breaches within the last year.
  • 46% of all university staff had not received data safety training within the last year.
  • 27% of the respondents admitted that their network had never had a penetration test by an external company.

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

Cybersecurity Threats And Attacks

Due to the vast quantities of personal data held by universities, many of the data breaches that occur are caused by criminal behaviour. While these criminals will always change their methods of attack, there are some standard measures that could help to prevent data breaches in the future. They include:

  • Using data encryption on any device which could be lost or stolen to make the data unreadable.
  • Completing regular penetration tests of the university’s infrastructure to identify weaknesses before they are used by criminals.
  • Providing adequate training opportunities for staff, contractors and students.
  • Reviewing data protection policies and updating them on a regular basis.
  • Ensuring devices are fully security patched with the latest updates before they are allowed on to the computer network.

While the cost of these measures may seem expensive initially, in our opinion the money spent implementing them could help prevent a lot of harm in the future. Additionally, they could help the university avoid having to pay large ICO fines.

What Data Breach Settlements Could Compensate You For

You might think that you can simply write a figure down and ask the defendant to pay it to you when requesting compensation. However, things aren’t that easy. You must justify all elements of any data breach claim and back up your request with supporting evidence. Also, to complicate matters further, you’ll need to consider any future suffering before submitting your claim as you can only claim once.

To begin working out your compensation amount, material damages will be calculated. This is the element that covers financial losses. Initially, you’ll look at what money you have lost already. Then you might need to look at additional costs you could incur in the future. For instance, identity theft can cause damage to your personal credit file. If that happens, you might need to calculate additional costs of mortgages, loans or other financial products that are incurred until the damage is rectified.

For injury claims or non-material damages, you’ll usually start with conditions that have already been medically diagnosed. These can range in severity from anxiety that lasted a few weeks to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) lasting for many months. Additionally, an assessment by an independent medical expert may reveal long-term suffering that will need to be included in your claim as well.

We believe the complexity of these claims is a very good reason to appoint a legal representative to your case. If your case is accepted by Legal Expert, one of our data breach lawyers will assess all aspects of your case before it is filed. This is an important process because we want you to achieve the correct level of compensation.

Please call today if you would like your claim to be reviewed on a no-obligation basis.

Calculate Settlements For Data Breaches At Plymouth Marjon University

Let’s now take a look at how much compensation could be paid for any injuries sustained following a personal data breach. We should point out that, as all cases are unique, the figures provided here are for information only. You’ll receive a more personalised estimate if you let us assess your claim more thoroughly.

In the hearing of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] at the Court of Appeal, there were two key messages which we are going to explain here. They were:

  1. You are able to ask to be compensated for any psychiatric injuries which result from a personal data breach regardless of whether you’ve lost money.
  2. If compensation is awarded, the level should be determined using the same amounts paid in personal injury cases.

So, to help demonstrate what level of compensation could be set for certain injuries, we’ve provided the compensation table below. The data we have supplied comes from the Judicial College Guidelines which legal professionals (lawyers, courts, insurers etc) use to help determine settlement amounts.

Claim TypeSeveritySettlement RangeMore Details
Psychiatric DamageSevere£51,460 to £108,620The victim will not react well to treatment and will therefore remain vulnerable. They will have very serious problems coping with life, maintaining relationships and working which will mean a very poor prognosis will be given.
Psychiatric DamageModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460The victim will have a more optimistic prognosis than the case above but they will still suffer very similar issues initially.
Psychiatric DamageLess SevereUp to £5,500Minor psychological symptoms that resolve completely in a short period of time.
PTSDSevere£56,180 to £94,570The victim in this category won't have any chance of working or returning to pre-trauma levels of functioning because symptoms like nightmares, flashbacks and suicidal ideation will be permanent.
PTSDModerately Severe£21,730 to £56,180In this category, there will be hope that the victim will see some recovery with professional help. However, they will suffer serious problems like those listed above for the immediate future.

As you can see, the amount awarded is based on the severity of your injuries. That’s why, as part of your claim, you will need to attend a local medical assessment hosted by an independent specialist. During the meeting, the specialist may refer to your medical records. They will then ask questions to help understand how you have been affected by the personal data breach.

Once the meeting has ended, the specialist’s findings will be documented and the report will be sent to your solicitor.

Could I Claim Against My University For A Breach Of Data Protection?

In this article, we have supplied a lot of information about data breach claims against Plymouth Marjon University. You may now be wondering how to begin your claim. You may well want to start looking for a solicitor to represent you. If that’s the case, where do you start? There are a few options. You might want to read solicitor reviews online, ask friends to recommend a solicitor or look at law firms in your area. Another option, which could be a lot quicker, is to call Legal Expert.

Our advice team provides free legal advice and will assess any claim without obligation. Should your case be deemed strong enough, one of our data breach solicitors could be appointed to work for you. If that happens, your solicitor will be able to answer any questions that you think of during the claim. They’ll also explain complex legal terminology in plain English and provide updates as your case proceeds. In all cases, our solicitor’s will always aim to achieve the highest compensation payout possible.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Plymouth Marjon University

Are you sat there thinking you would like to start a claim but don’t know if you can afford the legal fees? Well, you needn’t worry too much as our team of specialist data breach solicitors conduct cases on a No Win No Fee basis if they are taken on. That means your financial risks are lowered and so is the amount of stress during the claim.

We obviously need to check that a claim has a certain chance of success before accepting it so a solicitor will start by reviewing your evidence. If they agree to work for you, they’ll create a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) for you. This contract explains how the case will be managed and it also shows you that:

  • We won’t ask you to pay anything upfront.
  • We won’t bill solicitor’s fees to you while your case continues.
  • You won’t be asked to pay any of your solicitor’s fees if your case fails.

When a case is won, the solicitor’s fees for their work are paid by a ‘success fee’. In the CFA, this is listed as a percentage of any compensation you receive. To prevent overcharging, success fees are legally capped, so you needn’t worry too much.

Why not get in touch today to ask a member of our team if your case can be taken on and funded by our No Win No Fee service?

Contact Our Experts

We appreciate the time you have taken to read our guide. We hope that you can see now how Legal Expert can help with data breach claims against Plymouth Marjon University. If you want to begin a claim, to contact us you can:

Offering false hope wastes your time and ours. That’s why, when you call our team, your advisor will always be open about your chances of winning the case. After your free consultation, you could be referred to a data breach solicitor from our team if your case appears to have good grounds. Any case that is taken on will be funded by our No Win No Fee service to help reduce your stress levels.

Related Resources

In the final section of this article explaining why data breach claims against Plymouth Marjon University might be necessary, we are going to provide links to a few resources which you may want to refer to during your claim.

Plymouth Marjon University Data Protection – The data privacy policy outlining how personal information is used.

Subject Access Requests – An explanation of when you could ask a public body, like a university, for copies of the information it holds on you.

Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety – A UK mental health charity explains what signs to look for.

As well as these useful articles, we have added some further links to Legal Expert guides which may help you in the future below:

Restaurant Allergy Claims – Details on claiming for an allergic reaction caused by poor food labelling in a restaurant.

Claiming For Criminal Injuries – This guide describes how claims can be made through a government compensation scheme.

Uninsured Driver Accidents – An explanation of when you could claim for injuries caused by an accident with an uninsured driver.

Should you need any additional information about data breach claims against Plymouth Marjon University, please don’t hesitate to ask.

 

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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