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Regent’s University London Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Regent’s University London Data Breach

What Are My Rights To Claim If Affected By A Breach Of Data Protection At My University?

Due to their size and the number of students who attend them, universities have to process vast amounts of personal, and sometimes sensitive information. The main problem with them having that type of data is that it’s highly sought after by some criminals who could cause a lot of harm if they get hold of it. This article is about data breach compensation claims against Regent’s University London, but the information we’ll supply could be used to help with other data breach claims as well.

Data breach claims against Regent’s University London

Data breach claims against Regent’s University London

The legislation relating to data privacy was updated recently with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR as it’s more commonly referred to) as well as The Data Protection Act 2018. These laws give greater powers to any individual (or data subject) whose personal information is handled by organisations (data controllers) such as universities. As well as having to tell you why your data is required, data controllers must implement processes to try and keep your personal information secure. If they fail to, you could be compensated for any harm that results. Additionally, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) could investigate what has happened and issue a large financial penalty.

We would like to help you if you are thinking of claiming data breach compensation. Our team of specialists will happily provide free legal advice. They will also provide a no-obligation telephone consultation. If your claim has merit, they could refer you to one of our specialist data breach solicitors. Any cases that are taken on will be handled using our No Win No Fee service which we’ll explain later on.

If you believe that you’re ready to begin legal action today, why not call our advice line on 0800 073 8804. Alternatively, read on to find out more about your claim options.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against Regent’s University London

There are multiple times every day where it’s possible that you’ll carry out a GDPR interaction. Usually, the way you’ll spot them is because you’ll need to tick a box, or you’ll be stopped from accessing a website until you click on an annoying pop-up message.

Pretty much any scenario where your personal information is used will involve some paragraphs or pages explaining why and how it will be used. Examples of where you might notice the GDPR include when you register for a website, agree to medical treatment, hire a car, and, of course, sign up for a university course.

These interactions take place because all data controllers are legally obliged to tell you when your data is going to be used and for what purpose. Just as importantly, they need to request your permission before they use it.

Something that’s really important is that they cannot use your data for any other reason than what you have agreed to. In addition, they could be investigated and fined by the ICO if they aren’t able to keep your information safe. That won’t lead to you receiving any compensation though. While you could be compensated for the harm caused by a data protection breach, you’ll need to start your own legal action to do so.

When you start a claim, you should check which time limit applies. That’s because while most cases have a 6-year period in which you must begin, others involving human rights breaches have just one year. We often advise starting your claim as early as you can because that could mean that you’ll find it easier to gather supporting evidence.

If you’re ready to start, why not call our free advice centre and let a specialist review your case for you?

What Are Breaches Of Data Protection At Regent’s University?

You might think that all data breaches these days relate to information held electronically. However, even though many are related to cybersecurity problems like malware, ransomware, viruses, phishing emails, denial of service attacks and keyloggers, there are other ways in which breaches can occur.

As an example, if the university keeps paper records for their staff and they were stolen during a robbery, a data breach covered by the GDPR is likely to have taken place. That’s especially the case if the office wasn’t locked and the documents weren’t kept in a locked container.

The definition of a personal information breach is an event in which a security issue means that data about an individual is accessed, lost, altered, destroyed or disclosed in a way that was not authorised.

ICO investigations can be carried out whether the breach happened because of an illegal, deliberate or accidental act. If a data controller is made aware of such a breach, they need to inform the ICO immediately. Then they must begin their own investigation.

Should any data subjects be put at risk because of the breach, they need to be told:

  • How the data breach took place.
  • The date on which it happened.
  • The type of information that was disclosed.

We can help if you believe you’ve suffered harm as the result of a university data breach. Please call our free advice centre to discuss what’s happened.

The GDPR And Higher Education Bodies

Universities are likely to be registered as data controllers. Within the GDPR documentation, a lot of rules and responsibilities are defined which makes it easy for a controller to understand their role in data protection. For instance, when processing data, the controller must be able to demonstrate that they comply with some defined principles. They must:

  • Not gather any more data than is required.
  • Regularly update the personal information which is stored.
  • Use methods to process data that are transparent, fair and legal.
  • Never keep hold of personal information for any longer than it is needed.
  • Process personal data in a secure and confidential manner.
  • Always explain why a data subject’s personal information is needed.

Within the GDPR’s 88-pages, it explains that any personally identifiable data is covered by the law. This is information that could help to identify somebody. For instance, data relating to names, email addresses, home addresses, telephone numbers, enrolment numbers and staff numbers are all included. Separately, data relating to some additional characteristics like age, sexual orientation, disability or race are also covered.

How A University May Be Affected By A Data Protection Breach

While no breaches of data have been recorded on the ICO website involving Regent’s University London at the time of writing, we’re going to review one that happened in May 2020 and affected lots of higher education establishments.

Blackbaud is a software company that supplies a database product which many universities use to keep in touch with their alumni. They were made aware of a hack when they received a ransom demand from hackers.

After an investigation had been concluded, the company announced that some data from backup servers had been accessed and illegally downloaded. This meant they needed to tell their affected customers who also had to tell anybody who may have been put at risk.

As a precaution, the universities made announcements to explain what signs to look out for while they investigated the matter themselves. However, Blackbaud took action that is not usually recommended and paid the ransom. In exchange, the hackers confirmed that the stolen information had been deleted.

News article: https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252486910/List-of-Blackbaud-breach-victims-tops-120

Statistics On Breaches In Data Protection By Higher Education Institutions

We will now take a quick look at a study, involving 86 universities in the UK, which highlights some shocking figures relating to data protection breaches. The report found that:

  • Only 54% of staff had received data security training last year.
  • Similarly, only 51% of students received any similar training proactively.
  • The annual budget set to train staff in data security matters averages out at £7,529 per university.
  • More than half of the responses said that data breaches at their university had been reported to the ICO last year (54%).
  • More than a quarter of the respondents said their IT systems had never had a penetration test by an external party.

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

Data Breaches Caused By Criminal Attacks

As you can imagine, a large number of data breaches involving universities are carried out by criminals. In most cases, that’s because they want to extort money from individuals or the university. So, what measures could be put in place to help prevent these criminals in the future? Although we are not IT security experts, there are some measures listed below that could help:

  • Using encrypted devices which prevent access to sensitive information if they get into the wrong hands.
  • Hiring IT consultants to conduct a penetration test of the IT and university infrastructure to spot flaws before they are exploited.
  • Reviewing and updating all data protection policies regularly.
  • Providing a regular programme of training for staff and students.
  • Ensuring all devices on the network are fully up to date with the latest security patches.

The fact that education budgets are stretched already could mean these changes are difficult to fund. However, if successful, they could stop criminals from causing harm and minimise suffering for staff and students. Moreover, these steps could mean the university avoids a data breach fine from the ICO in the future.

What Rights Do You Have To Compensation?

If compensation claims were easy, you’d be able to tell the defendant how much compensation you want and that would be the end of it. But they’re not that easy, unfortunately! Each part of your claim has to be explained and evidence needs to be supplied to back up your request. Also, you can only make a single claim so you will need to think about future harm and suffering before claiming too.

Most cases begin with the material damages element. This is the compensation claimed for money that has been lost. Generally, it’s best to start with the losses that you have already incurred. After that, you might need to look at additional losses as well. For example, when identity theft damages your credit file, it may take many months or years for the negative marks to be removed. If that happens, you may incur additional costs when taking out financial products.

Next up, the claim will move on to non-material damages. These are used to compensate you for the pain and suffering that results from the data breach. They can range from short-term anxiety to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

We think that the complexity level involved with data breach claims means you’re likely to benefit from specialist legal representation. If your case is taken on by Legal Expert, then we’ll appoint one of our data breach solicitors for you. They’ll review every part of your claim to try and make sure nothing is left out before it is filed with the defendant.

Calculating Settlements For A Breach Of Data Protection By Regent’s University London

Now it is time to look at how much compensation could be payable for the harm caused by university data breaches. Obviously, this information is for guidance only. We’ll only be able to ascertain how much compensation you could be paid once we have thoroughly reviewed how you have been affected.

In an important case at the Court of Appeal (Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015]), two important rules were established:

  1. Compensation is claimable for psychiatric injuries that result from a data breach, even if you didn’t suffer financially.
  2. Settlement amounts for psychological harm should be paid using the same methods as in personal injury claims.

The compensation table below is provided to illustrate some figures for relevant injuries as listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document is used in the legal systems to help determine the correct amount of compensation to be paid.

Injury SeverityCompensation BracketFurther Information
Psychiatric Damage - General Severe£51,460 to £108,620The claimant will have very serious issues coping with life generally, working and managing their relationships. As treatment will not help, they will remain vulnerable and, as such, receive a very poor prognosis.
Psychiatric Damage - GeneralModerate£5,500 to 17,900The prognosis in this category will be good because although symptoms to above will have been present at the start, there will now have been a good level of recovery.
Psychiatric Damage - GeneralLess SevereUp to £5,500Minor symptoms that resolve in a quick period of time.
PTSDSevere£56,180 to £94,570Self-harm, flashbacks and suicidal ideation are just some of the permanent symptoms that will affect the claimant in this category resulting in them being unable to work or function the same as before their trauma.
PTSDModerately Severe£21,730 to £56,180There will be very similar symptoms to those listed above initially. However, with the help of a specialist, improvements should be seen.

Importantly, the table shows that it is the severity of your injuries that is used to calculate how much you’ll be paid. Therefore, while your claim is being processed, you will need to visit a local medical specialist. During your medical assessment, the specialist will review your suffering by asking a number of questions. If available, they may also review any medical records.

After the meeting has ended, your solicitor will be sent a report which outlines the specialist’s findings. As this report contains such valuable information, a medical assessment is mandatory for all claims.

How A Solicitor Could Handle Your Case

You might now be wondering how you begin data breach claims against Regent’s University London. Well, generally you’ll start by selecting the best solicitor to help you. This can be done with the aid of friend’s recommendations, online reviews, or you could just pick the nearest legal firm to you.

Or, to save time and receive free claims advice, you could contact Legal Expert. The specialists on our advice line are here to answer any questions you have. They’ll review your case for free and, if it is strong enough, could pass you through to a specialist solicitor. If your claim is accepted, one of our solicitors will:

  • Handle all communications with the defendant.
  • Explain how the claim will be managed.
  • Answer questions and explain legal terms to you throughout the case.
  • Provide regular case updates.
  • Try to achieve the highest compensation settlement possible for your claim.

To enquire about what else we could do to help you, call our advice line today. We’re open 24-7 so you can call when it’s most convenient. And if you’re unsure, why not check out our reviews.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Regent’s University London

We understand that many people worry about the cost of hiring a legal team to help them claim for a personal data breach. However, if your case is feasible, Legal Expert could help you claim on a No Win No Fee basis. That means any financial risks are lowered which will also make the thought of claiming less stressful.

Before your case is taken on, it will need to be checked over by a solicitor. If your case is accepted, the way it will be processed will be detailed in a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a contract between you and your solicitor which will explain that:

  • You don’t need to pay upfront for the case to begin.
  • We won’t charge you any solicitor’s fees during your claim.
  • Should the claim fail, you won’t be asked to pay your solicitor’s fees at all.

When a claim results in a positive outcome, your solicitor will retain a small portion of any compensation to cover their work. In the CFA, this is listed clearly as a success fee. Because you’ll know how much you’ll pay from the start, and the fact that success fees are legally capped, you can be sure that you won’t be overcharged.

If you would like us to check your eligibility to begin a claim on a No Win No Fee basis, please call our team today.

Talk To A Specialist Solicitor

We would like to thank you for reading our article on data breach claims against Regent’s University London. We hope that you are now ready to commence a claim with Legal Expert. If that’s true, you can:

We don’t want to waste anybody’s time so our experts will always be clear and honest about how likely you are to win your case. Our advisors will review your case on a no-obligation basis and provide free advice. If your case looks to be feasible, you could be partnered with our data breach solicitors. Should your case be taken on, it will be handled on a No Win No Fee basis.

Find Out More About Your Data Rights

We have tried to provide all of the information required to help you decide whether you are eligible to claim compensation following a university data breach. Therefore, in this section, we are going to link to some useful resources which may be helpful during data breach claims against Regent’s University London.

Data Protection Policy – Information on how Regent’s University London use personal data.

Reporting Data Breaches – This page of the ICO website explains how you can report breaches to them.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms – Details from the NHS on what effect PTSD can have.

Finally, as we can support many different types of compensation claims, we have linked to some additional guides below:

Allergic Reaction Claims – Guidance on starting claims against negligent restaurants that have caused you to suffer an allergic reaction.

Claiming For Criminal Injuries – This guide shows how you could be compensated through the government’s CICA scheme.

Claiming For Professional Negligence – Details about why you could claim for suffering caused by negligent advice.

 

Thank you for reading our guide to data breach claims against Regent’s University London.

 

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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