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

This guide will provide you with key information about the legal justifications behind a data breach claim against Queen Margaret University. If you read the guide, you will be well equipped to start making informed choices about your own data breach compensation claim. We look at how a data breach can happen, and why you may be able to claim if one does.

How To Claim For A Breach Of Data Protection At Queen Margaret University

Queen Margaret University data breach claims guide

Queen Margaret University data breach claims guide

All claims are unique. Yours will be no different; it will be based on your own specific situation. Because of this, we may not have answered all the questions that you have. Don’t worry if this is the case. We have a team of claim advisors that can help you.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against Queen Margaret University

Do you have evidence that you have been the victim of a data breach by Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh? If you do, this guide is for you. In fact, the information you will read below could equally apply to any university in the UK. We are going to give some background information related to data privacy in Scotland and the rest of the UK. We’ll also show you why you may be able to claim if your private data is exposed.

The first part of this guide is given over to providing information about data breaches. We start by defining what a data breach is. As well as look at the data privacy laws that apply. You will find examples of data breaches at a university, as well as some statistics showing how frequent they are. Lastly in this part of the guide, we look at the kinds of cyber attacks that can happen against a university.

The second part of this guide moves away from talking about data breaches and moves on to talk about the claims process. We touch on why you might be compensated for a data breach. And we have added a compensation table. It shows how the worse your suffering is, the more you will generally receive in compensation. 

You will learn about the concept of liability, and your eligibility to make a claim. Finally, we take a look at No Win No Fee claims, showing how they can be beneficial to you.

Time Limits To Claim

You need to know that there is a time limit to starting your claim. You must begin your Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh data breach claim within this time limit. Please note, it doesn’t matter how long your claim takes once it has begun. The time limit is the deadline for starting a claim, not completing it.

In general, you will have a period of 6-years from when you obtained knowledge of the data breach to make a claim. Or in cases where human rights are involved, only 1-year.

More Help Is Available

Do you have more questions about making a Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh data protection breach claim? Or perhaps you need the information in this guide expanded on in some way? Our team is available on the contact telephone number at the top of the page. You can use it to get all of the free legal advice you need.

What Is A Breach Of Data Protection By Queen Margaret University?

The logical place to start a guide to making a data breach claim against Queen Margaret University is outlining what a data breach actually is. First, you need to understand that any organisation that stores and uses your private data is responsible for keeping it safe. Sometimes, this security is not enough, and your private data can be exposed due to attacks such as:

  • Eavesdropping attacks – where the data packets travelling across a network are read.
  • Phishing attacks – fooling a member of the University staff by impersonating a well-known website to capture login details.
  • Man in the Middle attacks – a person trying to access university data spoofs the IP address of an application that has recently disconnected from the university servers.
  • Drive-by attacks – intended to make University staff install malware.
  • Password attacks – either brute force attacks or attacks using lists of common passwords.
  • SQL injection attacks – injecting SQL statements into a database query stack, that will give the intruder access to specific datasets.

These are some of the more common types of cyberattacks that will be used to gain unauthorised access to private data. When these attacks are successful your data could be exposed. If it is and you suffer financial or emotional damage as a result, you may be able to make a compensation claim. Talk to our team of advisors for more information.

How Can A Data Breach Harm You?

How much a data breach affects you depends on the type of private data that was exposed. Let’s look at some of the types of private data that could be vulnerable in a breach:

  • Name, address and telephone number.
  • Your email address.
  • Your university username and password.
  • National insurance number.
  • Passport number, issue and expiry dates.
  • Drivers licence number.
  • Bank account name, number and sort code.
  • The name, number and security code on your debit/credit cards.

In a worst-case example, your data can be used to steal your identity. Once this is done, the thief can steal money, buy items of hire purchase, apply for loans, and all kinds of nefarious activity. 

Can You Recover From A Data Breach?

In the worst-case example above, you may never fully recover from the data breach until you have replaced all of the information. That means a new passport, driving licence, bank accounts and debit/credit cards at the least. The psychological stress involved in ensuring your data has been changed can be significant.

Does The GDPR Apply In Scotland?

Both the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 apply in Scotland. Furthermore, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) also has authority over breaches in Scotland.

In addition to the above legislation, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FoISA) applies to public authorities in Scotland. And enforcing the regulations is the Scottish branch of the Information Commissioner’s Office. There are many similarities to the way that England and Wales handle the concept of data protection and the way Scotland does. 

Our team is able to support you with claims involving data breaches in Scotland. Simply call us on the number at the top of this page to find out more.

Examples Of Breaches In Data Protection At UK Universities

The most well-known malicious attack on universities in the UK was what is now known as the Blackbaud data breach. This breach of data privacy took place in 2020. The breach is not believed to have impacted Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. However, over 120 non-profit making organisations, and this included a number of universities, were caught in this attack.

Another example is the cyberattack against the University of Hertfordshire that happened as recently as April 2021. During this attack, many of the key services used by staff and students were knocked offline. Including Office 365, email, Wi-Fi routers, VPN and data storage. The university was unable to discover whether private data was accessed. But the attack was treated as if it did.

Sources: https://www.decisionmarketing.co.uk/news/from-bad-to-worse-blackbaud-admits-finance-data-loss and https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252499376/University-of-Hertfordshire-is-latest-academic-cyber-attack-victim

Statistics On The Number Of Universities Affected By Data Breaches

In 2019, IBM released a report related to the cost of data breaches at universities. This report included information about universities around the world, not just Scotland. The findings of this report were:

  • 2017 – there were 129 data breaches and combined, they put 1.4 million records of data at risk.
  • 2018 –  there were 76 data breaches and combined, they put 1.4 million records of data at risk.
  • 2019 –  there were 104 data breaches and combined, they put 2.2 million records of data at risk.

So, we can see that cyberattacks against an institution like a university, that expose private data, are quite frequent.

Criminal Cyber Attacks Against Universities

Not all cybercriminals have criminal intent. Some simply wish to show their prowess as a hacker for example. A successful and proven hack of a university helps build the hackers reputation. But a great many attacks that aim to beat cybersecurity or a university are criminally driven.

A cyberattack doesn’t always target university servers. These are secure systems sitting behind a firewall that is hard to access. Some cyberattacks aim at soft targets, such as the people that use the university systems, using something like malware that could introduce a virus that will exploit a vulnerability in the user’s computer operating system. Or spyware that will log keyclicks and expose passwords. 

Nobody is 100% safe from cyberattacks. But the university is responsible for ensuring that its own systems are safe and staff are trained to recognise risks. It cannot, of course, police the computer habits of staff and students, either of which could be the weak point that a cybercriminal exploits to gain access to university data.

How Could You Be Compensated If Affected By A Data Breach?

You can claim for any stress or psychological trauma that you suffered, which is referred to as non-material damage. Previously it wasn’t possible to claim for such harm in the absence of financial damage, but that changed following the Court of Appeal case of Vidal-Hall v Google [2015]. This means it’s now possible to seek compensation for psychological conditions such as depression or anxiety caused by the data breach.

The theft of your private data could cause monetary loss too, and in data breach claims, this is known as material damage. Your bank accounts might be accessed. Or your credit/debit cards used to make purchases. In worst cases, the identity thief might take out thousands of pounds in loans or make purchases in your name. In some cases, you might be protected against such losses, with your bank or credit card company covering the loss. In other cases, you will incur the debts in full and may need to pay them back yourself.

Therefore, if you do make a claim for a data breach, you can include all of the financial losses you have encountered.

Calculating Compensation For Data Breach Claims Against Queen Margaret University

When you make a data breach claim against Queen Margaret University, if it is a success, you will receive a settlement. In general, the more you suffer, the more compensation you will get. And also, how long you have suffered is part of the equation. 

The table below demonstrates this. It is an example only, as it is based on compensation claims made in England, not Scotland, so the figures may differ slightly in your own case. We based this table on the guidelines produced by the Judicial College.

Medical IssueLevel of SeverityAdditional NotesRange of Compensation
Psychological damageSevereWithin this classification, would be severe psychological issues that have been caused by repeated, severe trauma. It is likely that it could take years of therapy to reach anything approaching a recovery. In the worst cases, the victim would never recover fully. £51,460 to £108,620
Psychological damageModerate to severeWithin this classification, would be moderate to severe psychological issues. Probably caused by a single traumatic event. Recovery would happen in the long term. But until it does, the victim’s life may be negatively impacted.£17,900 to £51,460
Psychological damageModerateWithin this classification, would be moderate psychological harm. It is highly likely that the victim would recover completely after some time. Until recovery has been made, there could be a minor negative effect on the life of the victim.£5,500 to £17,900
Psychological damageLess severeUnder this classification, would be less severe psychological harm. Symptoms would not have a significant negative effect on the life of the patient, and recovery would happen in the short term. It is unlikely that the victim’s life would be impacted to any significant level.Up to £5,500

If you’d like a more precise evaluation of your potential compensation, one of our claim advisors can help you over the phone once they know more about your case. So, give them a call.

Could I Claim Compensation For A University Data Breach?

Whether you can make a data breach claim against a university depends on whether you have proof of the breach and the damage that you suffered as a result. This means proving that the university was at fault. 

The university has a legal responsibility to keep your private data safe. If the university fails in compliance, it could have been negligent. And if you can prove this negligence, you may be able to make a claim.

Please note, it is down to you to provide the proof. If the university denies responsibility, you may face a significant challenge in making a claim. This is where a solicitor can help. A lawyer that understands data privacy laws can help you provide evidence that will prove the culpability of the university. Due to the technical nature of computer security, you may need expert evidence from a specialist. Your lawyer will be able to offer you help and advice about this.

For more information about using an expert data privacy lawyer in Scotland to help with your claim, call and talk to our team today.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Queen Margaret University

Have you seen the phrase No Win No Fee before? It is regularly featured in radio advertisements as well as in magazines and on public billboards. You probably already have a rough idea of what it means. But do you know exactly how this legal contract between you and a lawyer works? Let’s take a look.

Another term for a No Win No Fee agreement is a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). And as this term suggests, the lawyer has agreed that their fee will be conditional upon success. So, you really don’t pay your lawyer any fees unless you have won your claim. 

There is no new claims fee. The lawyer won’t ask you to pay anything in advance to start working on your claim. There won’t be any ongoing fees either. And if the claim is lost, your lawyer will not expect to be paid their fee.

However, a modest success fee will be due if the lawyer does win your claim for you. This fee is limited by law. 

If you want more information about what a CFA is and how the fee structure works, you can call us on the number below. A claim advisor will go over how a CFA is structured in more detail.

Request A Call Back

Do you need more information about making a data breach claim against Queen Margaret University? Perhaps this guide raised questions that it didn’t answer? Or maybe you just want some general free legal advice on making a claim? 

Whatever you need, just reach out to our team. An advisor will talk through your claim with you. They will tell you what your legal options are. And also let you know what your next move should be. Don’t delay. Call us today to get your claim underway! 

Data Breach Claim Resources

Thank you for reading our data breach claims guide. Below, you can find some related resources you may find useful. 

All of these are external links. They lead to websites that have information that relates to data breach claims. They may be of use to you.

How The Government In Scotland Uses Your Private Data

Law Society Of Scotland Information About General Data Protection Regulations

How The University Of Glasgow Was Affected By The Blackbaud Attack

Thank you for reading our guide to making a data breach claim against Queen Margaret University.

Guide by Wheeler

Edited by Billing

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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.