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Robert Gordon University Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Robert Gordon University Data Breach

We know that it would be impossible for universities to function if they didn’t keep hold of personal information relating to staff and students. However, that information, which is often very sensitive, is highly sought after by criminals who could extort money from the university or individuals. In this article, we shall examine what is meant by data breach claims against Robert Gordon University. We will also look at how much compensation could be paid for data breach claims and what sort of harm can result from data breaches.

Robert Gordon University data breach claims guide

Robert Gordon University data breach claims guide

By now, you may well have heard of the General Data Protection Regulation which is often just called the GDPR. It came into UK law a few years ago when The Data Protection Act 2018 was enacted. Both pieces of legislation allow individuals (data subjects) to have more say about how their personal information is used by companies (data controllers). On top of that, the GDPR stipulates that extra measures should be introduced to try and keep any stored personal information safe. Breaches of data protection laws can lead to companies being heavily fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Moreover, you could be compensated for any suffering caused by the breach.

Our team give out free legal advice and can assess any case without obligation. Should your case appear feasible, we could appoint a specialist solicitor to your case. They’ll manage the case on a No Win No Fee basis if it is taken on.

To discuss if you could start a university data breach claim today, why not call our team on 0800 073 8804? Alternatively, to find out more about starting a claim, please read on.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against Robert Gordon University

A lot of aspects of everyday life now involve GDPR interactions. When you carry out such tasks, you may find that you have to read pages of information about how your personal data is going to be used and asked to tick boxes or click on pop-up boxes to confirm you are happy to continue. These steps are used almost everywhere. You’ll see them when booking a doctor’s appointment, registering for an education course, paying a bill online, or applying for a job.

The reason they exist is that companies need to adhere to their GDPR obligations. They include explaining why they would like to process your personal information. Additionally, processes and procedures need to be implemented to try and stop your information from getting into the wrong hands. Interestingly, the ICO can’t compensate you if your information is leaked in a personal data breach. However, you could be able to start your own legal proceedings.

When making claims, you will need to abide by the relevant time limits. Mainly, you’ll have 6-years to start but it may be worth checking this. That’s because any case about human rights breaches has to be made within 1-year. We usually suggest that getting in touch sooner rather than later could mean it’s easier to get evidence to support your case. Also, it might help you to recall how you have suffered if you discuss your claim as early as possible.

We are happy to advise you of your options for free after you have completed this guide. Therefore, please feel free to call our advice centre today.

What Are Breaches In Data Protection At Universities?

It is quite normal to automatically associate data breaches with cybersecurity issues. You might instantly think a crime involving hacking, ransomware, keylogging, malware, viruses or phishing emails are to blame. While they are all becoming more common in this digital age we live in, the GDPR is also concerned with other forms of personal data. For instance, if a company keeps customer records on paper, then they must take steps to keep them secure. One easy solution would be to keep their records in locked filing cabinets.

In the pages of the GDPR, personal data breaches are detailed as events caused by security issues that lead to personal information being disclosed, altered, lost, destroyed or accessed accidentally or deliberately. Importantly, any act that causes a breach could be investigated by the ICO regardless of whether it is deliberate, accidental or illegal.

Organisations must instigate an investigation if they discover a personal data breach. At the same time, the ICO may need to be kept up to date with what’s happened. Should any individual be identified as being at risk, they need to be told:

  • When the breach happened.
  • How it took place.
  • What information was disclosed in the breach.

For free advice on starting a claim for the harm caused by data breaches, why not speak to a specialist advisor today?

GDPR Implications For Universities

While some legislation is very difficult to understand unless you have a law degree, that’s not the case with the GDPR. Its 88-pages are written in very clear English. A lot of the definitions within the GDPR make it easy to understand who plays what role in protecting data. For example, data controllers must:

  • Collect only the data which is needed to complete the task and nothing more.
  • Use data processing methods that are obvious, legal and fair.
  • Not retain any personal data for longer than it is needed.
  • Process data using confidential and secure methods.
  • Ensure that any personal information which is to be stored is either kept up to date or there is a method for the data subject to update it themself.

When we talk about personal data we mean information that could identify someone. In the first instance, this could include names, location information, email addresses, telephone number, staff identification numbers or student enrolment numbers. Additionally, some information relating to protected characteristics like sexual orientation, age, race or gender is covered as well.

Examples Of Data Breaches In Higher Education

Let’s now look at a data breach involving Robert Gordon University and many others in the UK. The incident occurred when a supplier of database software to higher education, Blackbaud, was hacked in May 2020.

The company were approached by hackers asking for a ransom to be paid, to have the data they had downloaded destroyed. It identified that some of its customer’s backup data had been illegally required.

The company then advised any customer who was at risk about the breach. After that, the universities (and other organisations) took steps to highlight the risk to any data subject who may have been put at risk.

Blackbaud paid the ransom to the criminals. In return, they were assured that all of the data had been destroyed.

News story: https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/rgu-and-aberdeen-university-alumni-data-hit-by-breach/

What Percentage Of Data Breaches Occur In Higher Education?

Now let’s look at data security at universities. In this section, we’ll provide some figures from a recent study involving 86 UK universities. The report found that:

  • Around half of students (49%) aren’t given any proactive data safety training.
  • In the last year, 46% of university employees didn’t receive data security training either.
  • Over a quarter of universities who responded said they had not used an external company to perform a penetration test on their IT network.
  • A massive 54% of respondents admitted that they had needed to refer themselves to the ICO in the last year because of a recent data breach.
  • The average annual training budget was only £7,529.

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

Data Breach And Criminal Attacks

As we continue to move data onto computer systems, the level of criminality is likely to increase. So, what can be done to prevent future cybersecurity data breaches? Well, general IT security advice suggests that universities should:

  • Only permit devices onto their network if they have been fully patched with the latest security releases.
  • Provide ample and adequate data security training to anybody who needs it.
  • Review and update data privacy notices regularly.
  • Ask a third-party security firm to perform regular penetration tests to identify weaknesses in IT security.
  • Encrypt the hard drive of devices that could be lost or stolen to prevent access to sensitive data.

It is true that education budgets are already stretched thinly so these steps might appear too costly. However, in the longer term, this investment could stop students and staff from being harmed by data breaches and it could also stop the university from having to pay an ICO fine.

Data Breach Compensation Rights

Now we are going to look at what it is you could be compensated for following a data breach. While it would be nice if you could just state how much compensation you want to be paid, that’s not the case. All claims need to be fully justified and backed up by evidence. On top of that, if there is a chance that you’ll suffer long-term issues, that needs to be considered too because you’re only able to make a single claim.

It’s often easiest to start with material damages when calculating your claim. This is compensation that covers your financial losses. Initially, you’ll begin with money that has already been lost. Then you might need to work out if you’re going to incur additional financial losses. This might be the case if, for example, your personal details were used to commit identity theft. If there has been subsequent damage to your credit file, you may incur increased costs when taking out financial products until notes are added to your credit report.

With non-material damages, compensation claimed for injuries that were caused by the breach, you will usually start with any psychiatric damage which has already been diagnosed medically. If longer-term problems are identified by an independent medical specialist during your claim, these will need to be considered too. For example, the long-term effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may mean that it is difficult for you to return to work or manage personal relationships.

We’d advise that you take on legal representation when making a personal data breach claim. If your case is accepted by Legal Expert, one of our experienced solicitors could be partnered with you to review every element of your claim so that no aspect of your suffering is left out.

Personal Data Breach Compensation Calculator

This section is where we are going to review potential compensation amounts for non-material. Ideally, you’ll give us a call so that we can review your case properly before offering a personalised compensation estimate. However, the details we’ll supply here will give you a general idea of what amounts could be paid.

Any settlement should be paid in line with personal injury payments. In the compensation table that follows, we have supplied some figures from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a document that contains guideline figures for different injuries and is used by legal representatives in England and Wales when determining injury amounts. For figures specific to Scotland please call our advisors.

Injury / Claim TypeSeverityCompensation BracketFurther Information
General Psychiatric Damage Severe£51,460 to £108,620Due to the very serious impact in this category, the patient will be vulnerable in the future as they won't react well to treatment. They will struggle to cope with life in general, work and they will likely have problems managing relationships.
General Psychiatric DamageModerate£5,500 to 17,900In this category, the patient will have a good prognosis because, although they suffered similarly to above, they will have seen a lot of improvement already.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe£56,180 to £94,470Hyperarousal, nightmares, self-harm and other permanent symptoms will mean the patient can't return to pre-trauma levels of functioning and won't be able to work.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe£21,730 to £56,180With professional help, the victim is likely to see some improvements. However, they will suffer similar symptoms to those listed above in the immediate future.

While many factors are considered, the main one is the severity of any injury. That’s why part of the claims process is that you need to have a medical assessment. This will be arranged locally and be carried out by an independent medical specialist. During the assessment, questions will be put to you to try and ascertain your level of suffering. Your medical records may also be reviewed. After your appointment, the specialist will detail their prognosis in a report for your data breach solicitor.

As this report provides such important information, we need to advise you that medical assessments are required for all claims.

How To Start A Data Breach Claims Against A University

If you have decided to claim for a data breach, you may wonder how to begin. In many cases, the first thing to do is to choose a data breach solicitor to help you. (Although it is not compulsory to hire a solicitor to represent your case). That process can be time-consuming if you’re asking for recommendations from friends, looking up and down the high street for a law firm, or if you’re reading online reviews.

There is a quicker method though. You could call the Legal Expert free advice line. We’re here 24-7 to register your interest to claim. Our advisors will answer any questions you have during a free assessment of your case. If you want to proceed, and your case is strong enough to be accepted, we’ll appoint a solicitor from our team. During the claims process, your solicitor will:

  • Answer any questions you might have.
  • Tell you about any progress in your case.
  • Clearly explain any legal jargon that you’re not sure about.

Ultimately, all Legal Expert solicitors will do all they can to try and make sure you are compensated fully for your suffering. Please get in touch today if you’d like more information about starting a claim.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Robert Gordon University

It is, unfortunately, true that some claimants worry about the cost of hiring a data breach lawyer. That’s completely understandable and it’s the reason we work on a No Win No Fee basis if your claim is accepted. By doing so, we can reduce the financial risks involved with hiring a solicitor and also make the process less stressful.

At the start of your claim, a solicitor will review everything to check that there is a reasonable chance of winning your case. If they are willing to take it on, you will be provided with a Conditional Fee Agreement (or CFA). This contract will show you how the claim will be managed and also show that:

  • You won’t need to pay any money for the claim to begin.
  • There aren’t any solicitor’s fees to pay during the claims process.
  • You won’t have to pay any solicitor’s fees if the case is lost.

If your solicitor goes on to win the claim for you, they will retain a portion of your compensation to cover their costs. So that you know the amount you’ll pay before you sign up, the ‘success fee’ is clearly listed in the CFA. Also, to put your mind at ease, we should tell you such fees are capped by law.

Why not check with an advisor today to see if you are eligible to claim using our No Win No Fee service?

Start Your Claim

You are nearing the end of this article about data breach claims against Robert Gordon University. We hope that you have found it relevant and useful. If you are now thinking that you’d like Legal Expert to help you claim, you can contact us by:

  • Calling our advice centre on 0800 073 8804 to speak with a specialist data breach advisor.
  • Enquire about your options via our live chat service.
  • Send an email to info@legalexpert.co.uk explain why you would like to begin a claim.
  • Start the claim online so that we can arrange for an advisor to call you back.

We will ensure that we are always open and honest about the chances of winning your case, so we don’t waste your time. Our specialist advisors will start the ball rolling by providing free claims advice and assessing your case on a no-obligation basis. If the claim appears viable, you could have one of our specialist solicitors appointed. Any claim they agree to take forward will be managed using our No Win No Fee solution.

Related Guides On Data Breach Claim Rights

As we have examined the concept of data breach claims against Robert Gordon University already, we’ll concentrate on providing information that you might need to refer to during your claim in this section. The following external resources may prove useful:

Anxiety – An NHS article that explains the symptoms, causes and treatments for anxiety.

ICO Fines – A list of recent fines issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Thanks for reading our article about making data breach claims. Please let us know if you require any further information. Finally, to demonstrate the other types of claims we could support you with, please see our guides below:

Claiming For GP Negligence – Details on how to start a claim for suffering caused by the negligence of a GP.

Leisure Centre And Gym Claims – Advice on beginning a claim for injuries sustained in a gym accident.

Personal Injury Claims – Information on how the personal injury claims process works.

Written By Hambridge

Edited By Melissa.

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