Redditch Borough Council Data Breach – Compensation Claims Guide
If you’re looking for advice on your legal rights following a Redditch Borough Council data breach, this guide may help.
Local authorities need to collect and retain a wide range of personal information which they have a legal responsibility to keep safe from hackers and online criminals. What happens when they fail? Can you hold them responsible for your financial losses and the emotional harm the data breach created? With the correct proof, the answer is yes.
In this article, we examine the legal basis for starting a claim for data breach compensation. Our aim is to explain how the changes in UK data protection law mean that you have much greater rights concerning the way your personal information is gathered and used.
If you can demonstrate positive wrongful conduct on the part of the local authority in a way that caused damage to your mental health or finances, we can help advise you about your options.
- Call us on 0800 073 8804
- Write or email us about your claim online
- Use our helpful ‘live support’ option, bottom right for on the spot help
Select A Section
- A Guide On Claiming For A Redditch Borough Council Data Breach
- Cybersecurity Statistics
- What Are Cases Of Redditch Borough Council Data Breaches?
- Borough Councils And GDPR Compliance
- Typical Privacy Breaches
- Rental Statement And Social Service Privacy Breaches
- Does ICO Need To Know About Your Case?
- How The Claims Procedure Works
- Compensation In Data Breach Claims
- Redditch Borough Council Data Breach – Compensation Calculator
- Data Protection Lawyers UK No Win No Fee
- Finding Data Breach Compensation Solicitors For Redditch Borough Council Data Breaches
- Talk To A Claims Expert About Redditch Borough council data breach
- Related Services
- Answers To Common FAQs
In 2018, The Data Protection Act 2018 was updated to enact into domestic law the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This was ratified into UK law before we departed from the European Union and provides a much more thorough and comprehensive guideline for the safe and lawful use of personal information on and offline.
Under UK GDPR law, Redditch Council data protection procedures need to be secure and thorough. It’s essential that every company, local authority and organisation handles personal data with the utmost care and if they fail in that responsibility, they can be liable to penalties. If their failings allowed a data breach to happen and as a result, you saw a negative impact on your finances or mental health, you have a right to start a claim for compensation against them.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the non-governmental agency set up to regulate UK GDPR law and we explain how they could directly help your data breach case.
Looking at the two types of damage you could claim called ‘material’ and ‘non-material’, we show how it’s possible to calculate your potential award amount. We conclude by explaining how a data breach specialist working in a No Win No Fee capacity could enable you to seek compensation today at no upfront cost.
Data breaches have become an issue for many organisations. Cybercrime and hacking attempts are becoming more and more common. The statistics graph below gives an overview of what steps organisations are taking to prevent data breaches.
Staggeringly, 14% do nothing to protect themselves against such security incidents.
Head here to learn more about the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021
A data breach at a local authority could expose your personal information in a way that destroys your finances and peace of mind. If you can prove the council were at fault, you have the right to seek compensation. A No Win No Fee lawyer could help you start the process today.
The ICO classifies data as any information that could be used to positively identify an individual, be it directly or indirectly. They define a data breach as the loss, destruction, duplication or unauthorised sharing of that data.
Therefore, a Redditch Borough Council data breach could result from the accidental or deliberate leaking of anything from a simple name and address to the most sensitive child-related information in their social services department.
Data breaches can occur because of staff error or outside hacking attempts by cybercriminals looking for personal data to exploit for fraudulent purposes. This problem is a fact of life for businesses and organisations and it requires constant vigilance on their part.
A local authority needs to properly train staff and implement robust security defences to make it as difficult as possible for personal data to be corrupted.
The ICO tries hard to simplify these laws and enable companies large and small to build them into daily practice. With this in mind, they promote the inclusion of the 7 core principles contained with GDPR for the good use of personal data. They recommend that organisations:
- Collect data in a fair, obvious and legal way
- Apply a limited purpose for collecting the data
- Limit the amount of data necessary for the required purpose
- Retain data only for the required amounts of time (and then dispose of it properly)
- Display personal accountability at every level for proper data handling
- Emphasise the importance of accuracy of the data held about you
- Show integrity and confidentiality at all levels and with all involved.
Good GDPR compliance may still not prevent a determined hacker or the actions of members of staff, but these rules can greatly limit the risk to the data subject. The ICO will do all it can to support companies that are trying hard to comply with these laws, but can also issue severe penalties to those who fail to take data security seriously.
The two most common causes of a data breach are human error and cybercrime. One problem could be easier for companies to defend themselves against than the other. Staff training, rigid security procedures and up-to-date cyber defence should be a core part of a local authority’s handling of this information.
It’s important to note that you need to be able to supply evidence that can demonstrate how Redditch Borough Council fundamentally failed to properly apply safeguards against this happening. Some examples of how they could be at fault are when they:
- Fail to properly train staff about UK GDPR compliance
- Allow a lapse in their cyber defence software. This could be the result of failing to renew a license or to properly invest in the right data protection tools or firewalls
- Leave sensitive documents badly stored or unsecured
- Lose unencrypted laptops and smartphones with data on them
- Send unredacted emails or attachments in error
- Post documentation to the wrong person
- Permit casual conversation amongst staff which divulges personal details
- Share social media posts that include details without your consent
Consent is something that we give each time we send an email, shop online or submit documentation. Local authorities require a good deal of information by law and users or tenants are required to provide these details in order to use services.
Whilst there are exemptions about what local authorities need to ask permission for, it’s important to check the exact circumstances of how your consent was given and to see if it is still within the originally agreed remit. If you can demonstrate that your consent was abused or misused, you could have a Redditch Borough Council data breach case.
Three main groups
Three main groups who use our data are all equally responsible for good data handling and if they fail, each of them could be liable for your damages.
Redditch Borough Council would be classed as the ‘Data Controllers‘ and responsible for gathering the data in the first place.
Processors are the department or external agency responsible for the storage, upkeep and distribution of that data. Data processors have similar duties to controllers.
Lastly, third parties are the group who may assist or participate in the way this data is used. An issue could arise in relation to consent and the sharing of data with third parties.
A Redditch Borough Council data breach could involve very delicate and sensitive information. The social services departments of all local authorities need to retain a lot of detailed information that could be devastating for the data subjects involved if exposed.
For example, a typical council needs to know:
- Name, address and contact details
- Email addresses
- Details about children and dependents
- Medical details about vulnerable people
- Marital and immigration status
- Sexuality and religious beliefs
- The status of criminal investigations involving children
- Police reports and witness statements
- Adoption or custodial cases
Many local authorities are keen to collect rent payments using standing orders and direct debit agreements which means that they need to retain bank details about their tenants. In addition to providing a data hacker with your home address, this means they could also access your bank account. In addition, Redditch Borough Council could hold information about:
- Arrears or County Court proceedings
- Benefits received
- Neighbour disputes
- Planning applications
- Budget tenders for building projects
- Rent statements and arrears
- Council tax
Clearly, the sound and consistent protection of personal data is an essential duty on the part of a local authority that holds details such as these. UK GDPR acknowledges the importance of this. Whether it’s accidental or deliberate, the truly devastating impact of a serious data breach on the individual if it results in loss of money and stress is too serious to excuse.
The ICO cannot pay you compensation and they do not automatically investigate every data breach that happens. Companies need to report serious breaches to them within 72 hours and if it can be proved that they failed to do that, the ICO may issue them with a penalty. The first port of call for claimants should be to complain to the local authority directly about the breach and the ICO provides a helpful document to raise your concerns.
When you complain to Redditch Borough Council, they should investigate and provide a meaningful response. If you don’t receive a satisfactory answer you should get in touch with the ICO within three months. It’s essential not to wait longer than this as the ICO may not get involved or take your complaint seriously.
Each case is looked at in its own right and it can help strengthen your argument for data breach compensation to ask them to step in. You can do that with this complaint document.
It can be helpful to follow the step by step guidance below when starting a compensation claim for a Redditch Borough council data breach:
- Firstly, contact the local authority to raise a complaint that you have noticed a data breach that impacts you.
- Contact the ICO if you wish
- Allow a period of no longer than three months to elapse before receiving a response
- Start to collect details such as paperwork, bills and receipts. Anything that can demonstrate money you have needed to pay out to deal with the impact of the breach or lost through fraud.
- Contact your bank for evidence of proof of funds stolen from your account if this has happened.
- Access your medical records to prove mental anguish or suffering caused
- Reach out to a No Win No Fee data breach specialist to help you.
Anyone can manage their own claim for compensation for a data breach against a local authority that leaked their information. It’s not the law that you must use the services of a legal professional, but given the complexity of cases like this, it can be much more sensible to do so.
A lawyer acting on your behalf can assess two different types of damage stemming from a data breach. Material damage relates to all the money lost to you because of the data breach and non-material damage relates to the mental health consequences of such an event.
A case called Vidal-Hall and others v Google changed the legal position in relation to data breach claims. Before this case, it was necessary to prove financial damage to seek compensation for mental harm. Now, you can claim for either.
Another case, Gulati and Others v MGN Ltd , provided further guidance on valuing mental injuries. It was said to consider awards made in personal injury claims. As such, a data breach solicitor can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines to find appropriate award brackets that relate to mental anguish and psychiatric suffering and with the right medical evidence from an assessment, include them in your claim.
Using figures from the Judicial College Guidelines, we’ve compiled the table below. They are not guaranteed amounts and each case is decided on its individual merit. It gives an indication as to what could be awarded in cases of mental anguish and psychological distress:
|Health issue||severity||description||award bracket|
|Psychiatric harm||Severe||Marked problems coping with basic everyday demands||£51,460 to £108,620|
|Psychiatric harm||Moderate/severe||Better prognosis than above but stress and work related issues that require prolonged therapy||£17,900 to £51,460|
|Psychiatric harm||Moderate||Marked improvements with some residual factors that create stress||£5,500 to
|Psychiatric harm||Mild||Sleep issues, phobia disorder and mild anxiety that can be relieved on the whole||Up to £5,500|
Speak to our team to see how we can help you calculate potential damages in your data breach claim. There’s no obligation to proceed with us. Our confidential service could help give you the information you need to start today.
A No Win No Fee arrangement has many benefits to people looking for legal representation, not least that data breach cases can be jargon-heavy and time-consuming. Help from solicitors like this could make a dramatic difference to the final outcome for you. The immediate advantages are:
- No upfront fees
- As the case moves forward, there are still no fees to pay
- If your case does not win, you don’t have to pay anything to your solicitors
- A successful case means that only a small percentage of the overall settlement amount goes to your solicitors as their fee.
- You pay this amount after you have received your settlement amount
- This enables you to access instant, high-quality legal representation with no financial risk to you whatsoever.
No Win No Fee is easy, fast and professional. There is a 6-year time limit on starting a claim for a data breach against a private company. Although it may seem a generous amount of time, it’s important to track and record all the financial and emotional damage caused by the data breach as it happens. But also remember that for a public body (e.g. a council) claim, it suddenly becomes only 1 year. And you must find out as soon as possible how long you have to claim to avoid missing out.
You can only make one claim for a data breach. So it’s important to include all the relevant details. A No Win No Fee lawyer also has the expertise to help you track and record hidden charges. Anticipated penalties such as late fees, unauthorised overdraft use and damage to credit scores can all be properly acknowledged. Good legal advice can stop you from being victim months or even years after the initial fraud was detected.
After deciding to start a claim working with a No Win No Fee solicitor for compensation, you may be unsure as to what to do next. When seeking damages for a Redditch Borough Council data breach your options may be as follows:
- You could approach the law firm that is local to you
- Act upon the recommendations of friends and family
- Search online for reviews or sites that offer help
- Guide the case yourself
At Legal Expert, our advisors are on hand to help explain directly the advantages of legal representation with solicitors who can help people remotely, all across the UK. The combined expertise of these experts could enable you to present a much more coherent and accurate claim. So why not check out our own reviews to see what our past clients thought?
It’s free to get in touch and completely confidential. After a brief chat with our team, they can assess your circumstances and offer immediate solutions, with absolutely no obligation to proceed.
Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on a Redditch Borough Council data breach. We hope that the information has helped inform your decision to start a claim. Please remember, our team is happy to assist with any queries or issues you may have. Simply:
- Call us on 0800 073 8804
- Write or email us at Legal Expert
- Use our helpful ‘live support’ option, bottom right for on the spot help
If you are looking for further information regarding data breach compensation, we can offer advice on what to do if your medical records were divulged. Also, what your options could be as the victim of an employer data breach. Lastly, we can help with further advice on how to properly report a data breach that has come to your attention.
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In this final section of our guide on what to do if you fall victim to a Redditch Borough Council data breach, we’ve provided answers to some common questions.
What evidence do I need to make a claim?
A No Win No Fee solicitor can help arrange a psychiatric evaluation to use as proof of how the data breach impacted you adversely. You can also use bills, receipts and statements that demonstrate loss associated with the data breach.
Could I get compensation for a Redditch Borough council data breach?
If you can demonstrate that the local authority acted with positive wrongful conduct, yes. If Redditch Council data collection or storage arrangements failed and permitted circumstances that allowed a breach of personal data, you can claim.
Redditch Borough council data breach – How long does a typical claim take?
It’s important to note that there are no absolute time frames when it comes to data breach cases.
What should I do if I discover a Redditch Borough council data breach?
This depends on the severity of the breach and the seriousness of the immediate damage it causes. You can contact the ICO straight away and ask them to investigate. In the meantime, change passwords as appropriate and refer to government guidance about how to improve your data security.
What health issues could result from a data breach?
It’s possible to suffer anxiety or depression. PTSD can result in severe cases. Your medical assessment can give clear indications of the full extent of mental injury.
If you have any more questions about a Redditch Borough council data breach, please get in touch.
Guide by Waters
Edited by Billing