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Rayleigh Town Council Data Breach Claims

Should a Rayleigh Town Council data breach happen what would your rights be? The aim of our guide is to provide advice and information regarding a data breach. Breaches that affect the public sector may have far-reaching effects on anyone caught up in one. It may even lead to identity theft, serious financial losses as well as a loss of privacy.

Rayleigh Town Council data breach claims guide

Rayleigh Town Council data breach claims guide

Data protection laws have never been as stringent as they are today. With the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation being enacted into UK law (Data Protection Act 2018), your rights are a lot more protected. Also since leaving the EU the UK have also implemented the UK GDPR. Moreover, data controllers (organisations that collect data) must abide by the new legislation. But what happens if a data controller does not protect your data and there is a breach, could you have grounds to sue?.

You will find lots of useful advice and information in the sections that follow. And having gone through our guide, hopefully, you will have a better idea of whether you could seek compensation after a council data breach.

An adviser is here to take your call and answer any questions you have. You can reach one of our experienced advisers in several ways which include calling 0800 073 8804. Our lines are open 24/7. If more convenient, you can opt to discuss your case with an adviser using our Live Chat.

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A Guide To Claiming For A Rayleigh Town Council Data Breach

Our guide provides essential information and advice on what you could do should a Raleigh Town Council data breach occur. You will find out how data protection laws apply to all organisations (data controllers) that collect personal information.

Town councils collect, process, and store a vast amount of personal information, so they must have the right level of security in place. When data controllers fail to have adequate security protocols in place, the risk of a breach is far greater.

We explain the role of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This is the authority that enforces data protection law. Within the following sections, you will find information on when and how to contact the Information Commissioner to voice your concerns on how your data is being used. Organisations don’t have to tell the ICO about every data breach. However, they must report a breach when the breach puts individuals caught up in the incident at risk.

If you believe you have grounds to sue for compensation after a data breach, Legal Expert can help. By contacting a member of our team, you will find out whether you have good cause to seek data breach compensation.

How Long Do I Have to File a Data Breach Claim?

You must begin a claim within the statutory deadline to avoid running out of time. If you wait too long, you may find a valid claim ends up being time-barred. The time limit for data breach claims is typically six years. The deadline is one year when human rights are impacted in a data breach or claims concern public bodies.

A member of the Legal Expert team will provide free advice on how to go forward if we find you have good reason to sue for compensation. We can also connect you to one of our No Win No Fee lawyers.

How Frequently Do Data Breaches Happen?

There has not been a Rayleigh Town Council data breach to date, and the ICO has not issued the authority with a fine.

A town council is a data controller. The authority gathers, processes, and stores masses of personal data of everyone connected to them. This includes homeowners, tenants, drivers, organisations, and other people connected to the authority. Furthermore, a town council routinely shares the data held with other government departments. This means the town council must have strong security protocols in place.

The following councils were issued fines by the ICO:

  • £70,000 fine was issued to Islington Council for failing to secure data held on a parking ticket system
  • The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was issued with £120,000 fine for unlawfully identifying over 900 owners of vacant properties.
  • The ICO fined Gloucester City Council £100,000 for not protecting employee data

Call our claim advice line today for free legal advice. An adviser is waiting to take your call and you can have any queries you have answered in a no-obligation free initial consultation. 

What Could Be A Rayleigh Town Council Data Breach?

A data breach involves a security incident that allows personally identifiable information to be deleted, changed, altered, lost or stolen even accessed without authorisation. This can be done unlawfully, deliberately, or accidentally. The most common cause of a breach is due to human error. However, other causes include cyber-attacks and other malicious actions. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) defines a data breach as being a security breach where personal data is put at risk.

Reasons why a data breach might happen include:

  • Vulnerabilities in a cyber-security
  • Inadequate security protocols
  • Phishing emails
  • Human error
  • Cyber-attacks
  • Documents shared with the wrong people
  • Sensitive data not kept under lock and key
  • Personal information sent to wrong recipients

A data breach could lead to financial loss, fraud, identity theft, and loss of privacy. The negative outcome of a breach may not be immediately apparent. Victims can suffer mental harm which could lead to a person developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

An experienced adviser can take your call and provide you with free legal advice. We can also connect you to one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

What Public Bodies Are Covered By The GDPR?

All public bodies that collect, store, and process personal information must follow data protection law. The GDPR and the DPA 2018 set out stringent legislation that all data controllers must follow. That said, the UK amended the General Data Protection Regulation after leaving the EU. All in all, there are a total of 99 articles in the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

A town council is limited on how they use your data. Moreover, you (data subject) have more control over how your personal information is used. The town council must, therefore, abide by the seven key principles of data protection law. These are:

  • Lawfulness, fairness, transparency
  • Purpose limitation
  • Data minimisation
  • Accuracy
  • Storage limitation
  • Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  • Accountability

All The DPA 2018 and the GDPR protects all data that indirectly or directly identify a living person. Personal information that obviously identifies an individual includes:

  • Names, addresses, and locations
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers

Data that does not so obviously identify an individual include:

  • IP addresses
  • Cookie identifiers

Sensitive data (special data) is more protected due to its sensitive nature and includes:

  • Racial origins
  • Ethnicity
  • Trade union membership
  • Biometric data
  • Genetic data
  • Sexual orientation
  • Political views
  • Religious beliefs
  • Health data

Types Of Data Breaches Under The GDPR And DPA

How might a data breach by Rayleigh Town Council potentially occur? Data breaches can happen for different reasons. Some can be cyber-related while other are nothing to do with computer systems. If a data controller such as a council has done all they can to protect your personal information a claim would not be possible even if a data breach occurred. That said we have looked at potential scenarios of data breaches below:

  • An employee accidentally shares personal data with an unauthorised party
  • A data controller publishes information packs containing case studies but omits to redact personal data before sending them out.
  • An authority sends out a rent statement to the wrong address even though the correct one is on file
  • Mass emails containing personal data are sent out by mistake to the wrong people
  • Cyber-attacks
  • Social Services discloses sensitive data to people who should not have access to it
  • Staff devices are lost or stolen and they are not encrypted

Breaches In Tenants Data And Information Privacy

Councils provide social housing to the public. It is also referred to as public housing which is rented out at affordable rates. As a social housing landlord, a town council gathers vast amounts of data from their tenants. As such, the council must be data protection compliant. If a local authority fails to protect the data held, it could lead to a rent statement data breach and the following data could be exposed:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Contact details – email address and phone numbers
  • Dates of birth
  • Scans of tenancy documents/rent statements

How To Report A GDPR Data Breach

The first thing to do is get in touch with the data controller to voice your concerns by filing a complaint. Make sure you contact the right department to avoid any sort of delay in getting a response. If the data controller does not get back to you, or their response is unsatisfactory, you could take the matter further. You can get in touch with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and voice the concerns you have.

Make sure you don’t wait too long in contacting the ICO because if you do, they might not investigate your complaint. You must get in touch with the Information Commissioner’s Office within three months of the last ‘meaningful’ contact you had with the local council.

The ICO does not handle data breach claims, nor does the authority award compensation to victims. Even if you contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, you could also seek legal advice. This is where Legal Expert can be of assistance if you want to start civil proceedings.

What Is The Data Breach Claim Process?

As previously stated in the previous section, you should get in touch with a local authority as soon as you think they failed to protect your data. Once you contact a council, they should respond to your concerns.

  • First, contact the town council and file an official complaint. You may find the council tries to resolve the issue amicably. However, if not, you can then take the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office if want to
  • Second, if you decide to contact the ICO make sure you get in touch within three months of the last meaningful contact you had with the data controller. The Information Commissioner’s Office may decide to investigate your concerns
  • Third, get in touch with Legal Expert to benefit from free advice and a free initial, no-obligation consultation.

A friendly Legal Expert adviser can answer any questions you have about filing a claim for compensation. Should a Rayleigh Town Council data breach occur, Legal Expert can answer any questions you may have.

How Much Compensation Can Someone Get For A Data Breach?

You can seek two lots of damages if you are the victim of a data breach that negatively impacts you. Victims can seek material damages and non-material damages. You may be entitled to a combination of the two.

Material damages cover your monetary losses, whereas non-material damages cover the stress a breach caused you. You need to provide proof of financial losses which can be bank and credit statements. To claim non-material damages, you can provide a medical report detailing the extent of the harm a breach caused you. The report will be provided by an independent specialist.

Non-material damages cover psychological harm which includes:

How Do You Calculate Compensation For A Rayleigh Town Council Data Breach?

How much you get in compensation will depend on the severity of the data breach and how it affected you.

  • Did you incur monetary losses?
  • How badly were you impacted by the breach physically and mentally?
  • Do you suffer from lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, or the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

There was a ruling by the Court of Appeal which meant that even if a data subject has not experienced financial loss they can still claim for any suffering to their health. You could pursue a claim for non-material damages when no material damages have been caused, The Judicial College (JC) Guidelines, a publication used in personal injury cases to help value injuries, can be used to help determine a value for suffering in data breach claims.

The table below gives you a general idea of the compensation paid out for specific mental harm. Figures are taken from the JC Guidelines.

Harm suffered by a claimant Severity of the harm and details Potential Amount Awarded
Symptoms associated with Post-traumatic stress disorder A claimant suffers severe symptoms linked to PTSD. The symptoms negatively impacts a claimant’s ability to work, lead a normal life and relationships are affected too £56,180 to £94,470
Symptoms associated with Post-traumatic stress A claimant suffers moderately serious symptoms linked to PTSD. However the impact is less severe than above £21,730 to £56,180
Symptoms associated with Post-traumatic stress A claimant suffers moderate symptoms linked to Post-traumatic stress disorder. The claimant is expected to recover with the right treatment over time £7,680 to £21,730
Symptoms associated with Post-traumatic stress A claimant suffers less serious symptoms linked to PTSD. Claimant is expected to recover within 2 years £3,710 to £7,680
Psychological harm/mental anguish A claimant suffers severe psychological harm. The compensation awarded will take into account whether a claimant can continue to work, how their lives are affected, and whether relationships are impacted £51,460 to £108,620
Psychological harm/mental anguish A claimant suffers moderate mental harm. However, the prognosis is better than above although a claimant may suffer work-related stress £5,500 to £17,900
Psychological harm/mental anguish A claimant suffers moderate to severe symptoms but the prognosis is better than in severe categories. £17,900 to £51,460
Psychological harm/mental anguish A claimant suffers less serious symptoms and is expected to recover in time £1,440 to £5,500

An adviser can give you a better idea of how much your claim could be worth. Also, they can provide free advice and put you in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

What Is A No Win No Fee Solicitor For A Rayleigh Town Council Data Breach?

A No Win No Fee solicitor takes all the financial pressure of paying upfront for legal representation. Our solicitors offer No Win No Fee terms to claimants with a strong reason to seek compensation. With decades of expertise behind them, our team of solicitors have the necessary legal know-how to handle your data breach claim. Right from the outset, the solicitor will deal with every aspect of your case. This includes making sure pre-action protocols are respected.

Other benefits our team of lawyers provides when offering a No Win No Fee service includes:

  • There are no upfront or ongoing fees to find
  • You pay a success fee when you receive compensation
  • Should your claim fail, you don’t pay the success fee

A No Win No Fee solicitor can start work on your case the moment they receive the signed agreement (Conditional Fee Agreement). The solicitor will arrange an appointment with a local medical specialist for you. Their report is an invaluable piece of evidence when you claim non-material damages. Call today and find out if you have grounds to sue and whether you could make a No Win No Fee data breach claim.

Dealing With A Data Breach

Finding the right specialist data breach solicitor has never been easier. You don’t even have to contact a firm of solicitors local to you. You can discuss your case with a solicitor over the phone, by email, or over Skype. Moreover, you can now choose to have a No Win No Fee lawyer act on your behalf.

Where we find you have a very strong case, our team of solicitors provide a No Win No Fee service. Furthermore, we provide all claimants who contact us with a free, initial consultation. You can choose not to go forward with a claim if you so wish.

Call today and find out how Legal Expert can help you secure a fair level of data breach compensation.

How Do I Get In Contact With Legal Expert?

Thank you for reading our guide about steps to take should a Rayleigh Town Council data breach occur. All you need to do is call an expert adviser today. The adviser will assess your case and will provide free advice on how best to go forward. We provide a free, initial consultation that allows us to assess your case and answer any questions you may have. Where we find you have good reason to sue, we can introduce you to one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

More About Data Breach Claims

Our guide to unauthorised access to medical records:

Claiming compensation for unauthorised access to medical records

The Legal Expert guide on reporting a data breach:

How to report a data breach

A guide to post-traumatic stress disorder claims:

Claiming compensation for PTSD

Other Guides You Can Read


Below are answers to a few frequently asked questions about data protection law.

Is GDPR compliance automated?

Article 22 of the General Data Protection Regulation adds additional protection for data subjects when carrying out auto decision making.

Is the GDPR and Data Protection Act different?

The Data Protection Act 2018 lays out the data protection framework which operates alongside the UK GDPR. The DPA 2018 has three specific data protection rules with the first covering the general processing regime (UK GDPR).

What evidence do I need in order to make a claim?

You need to show you suffered damages because of the breach which can be monetary losses and mental harm. You must provide proof of financial loss. Also, a medical report of the mental harm a breach caused you may be needed.

Guide By Woods

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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