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Salford City Council Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

Welcome to our guide looking at your rights if a Salford City Council data breach was to occur. 

Organisations, including local authorities and councils, have a responsibility to protect and secure our personal data. However, sometimes data can be exposed. If you were caused financial and emotional harm as the result of a data breach that was caused by the failings of the council, then could you be eligible to claim data breach compensation?

Salford City Council Data Breach claims guide

Salford City Council Data Breach claims guide

The GDPR is a piece of EU legislation that came into effect in 2018. The Data Protection Act 2018 enshrined the GDPR into UK law. Since leaving the EU, we refer to the UK GDPR with regards to the handling of personal data in the UK.

If a local council doesn’t follow these rules, it can result in your data being exposed. This could cause you severe emotional distress and may even result in you being the victim of identity theft. 

Our team of advisers are available 24 hours a day to have a chat about your situation and give you free legal advice. You can contact our team of advisers by:

  • Ringing them on 0800 073 8804 to receive 24/7 free legal advice.
  • Filling out our online form to receive a reply at your earliest convenience.
  • Talking with an adviser on our live chat pop-up box for an immediate response. 

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Claims For A Salford City Council Data Breach
  2. Statistics For Council Data Breach Fines
  3. What Is A City Council Data Breach?
  4. Does The GDPR Protect Data Held By My Council?
  5. Types Of Breaches In Data Protection Affecting Councils
  6. Data Leaks Of Tenants Documents And Statements
  7. Reporting Data Protection Breaches To The ICO
  8. How To Claim For A Public Sector Data Breach
  9. Types Of Compensation You May Claim
  10. How To Calculate Compensation For A Data Breach By Salford City Council
  11. No Win No Fee Solicitors For A Salford City Council Data Breach 
  12. Check If A Lawyer Could Help You
  13. Get In Contact With Us
  14. Related Claims
  15. FAQs

A Guide To Claims For A Salford City Council Data Breach 

This guide will begin by looking at some council data breach fines, before moving on to exploring what a data breach is. Furthermore, we will look at the types of breaches that could affect local authorities. You may be wondering what could be a data breach by Salford City Council? Hopefully, this guide will provide enough information for you, if not our advisors are on hand to take your call. 

After this, the article will discuss examples of data leaks of tenant documents and statements. It will then talk about how to report a data breach to the ICO and what this entails. In addition, there’ll be a section exploring the types of compensation data breach claims can consist of, and how much could be awarded to you.

The guide also includes our contact information if you’d like more information about your data breach claim. Now, if the claim is against a private company, you have 6 years to take legal action. But if it’s a council or public body that you’re suing, then this time period becomes 1 year. And various factors could impact how long you have to claim, such as the nature of the breach. As a result, we strongly suggest that you begin your claim as soon as you can to avoid missing out. If you would like to know more about the process of claiming, why not get in touch with our claims team? If they feel that you have a valid claim with a good chance of success, they could connect you with one of our solicitors who offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis.

Statistics For Council Data Breach Fines

The below graph includes statistics taken from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The statistics show some of the fines issued by the ICO to councils for a variety of different types of data breaches.  

The ICO has the power to fine city councils if a data breach could’ve been prevented.

Salford City Council Data Breach statistics graph

What Is A City Council Data Breach?

The UK GDPR outlines that a data breach occurs when data is stolen, lost, changed without permission, damaged, disclosed, or unlawfully accessed. This can occur in physical form or online. The person who determines how data is used and processed is called a data controller, where a data subject is a person that the data relates to. 

The ICO has the power to fine a local council if a data breach occurs that could’ve been avoided. A local council can be fined by the ICO for failing to keep sensitive data secure. 

In order for you to claim compensation for harm caused to you, you must be able to prove that the data breach which caused you harm was a result of a failing on the part of the data controller. For instance, they may have failed to keep your personal details up-to-date, resulting in a letter containing sensitive information being sent to the incorrect person. Alternatively, if their cybersecurity system has not been updated, a computer hacker may have been able to access the system containing your personal data.

If a data breach by Salford City Council was to occur would you know what steps to take? Why not get in touch with our team today? One of our advisors could answer any questions you may have. 

Does The GDPR Protect Data Held By My Council?

We’re constantly impacted by the UK GDPR, even when we’re unaware of it. Many online forms now include tick boxes through which you can give consent for your data to be shared. Consent is one of the 6 lawful bases under which your data can be shared. 

Seven principles

There are seven principles that the UK GDPR is based around. Any organisation that processes personal data, including councils and local authorities, should adhere to these principles. They are:

  • Lawfulness, fairness and transparency. This means that data must be processed in a lawful manner and with transparency to the data subject.
  • Purpose limitation. The data controller should only collect the data for a specified, legitimate purpose. They shouldn’t process the data further in any way that is incompatible with these purposes.
  • Data minimisation. This means that the data collected should only be data that is relevant and necessary for the purposes for which it is processed.
  • Accuracy. The data controller should ensure that all the information is accurate and kept up to date (where necessary). They should take all reasonable steps to ensure that inaccurate data is rectified as soon as possible.
  • Storage limitation. Personal data should only be stored for as long as is necessary for the purposes for which it’s processed.
  • Integrity and confidentiality. The data should be processed in an appropriately secure way. As well as unlawful processing, the data should be protected against accidental damage, loss or destruction of the information.
  • Accountability. The data controller should take accountability for the way they process data and should be able to demonstrate that they have complied with the rest of these key principles.

If your data has been breached because a local council failed to adhere to one or more of the principles listed above, what kind of harm could this cause you?

Types Of Breaches In Data Protection Affecting Councils

There are multiple ways that a data breach could occur, we have listed a few potential scenarios below. For example:

  • A member of staff unsafely discards documents containing personal and private information in a general waste bin, rather than shredding them.
  • Data is stored on an unsecured laptop that is left on a train. 
  • A letter containing sensitive information is sent to the wrong address, despite the correct address having been provided in good time.
  • Cybersecurity is outdated or non-existent, leading to a hacker accessing personal data for their own gain.

Once a council becomes aware of a data breach, they must report any personal data breaches that risk the rights and freedoms of the data subject to the ICO and data subjects. They should be reported to the ICO without undue delay and must be done within 72 hours

To find out more about the types of data breaches that can affect your personal data, you can get in touch with our team of advisers. They can discuss your case and assess whether your claim is valid. If it is valid, they can connect you with one of our solicitors who can begin working on your claim. 

Data Leaks Of Tenants Documents And Statements 

A council or local authority may hold information on those who live in council housing. This includes: 

  • Applications for council housing 
  • Rent statements
  • Tenancy audit documents, for example, passport scans

As with all personal data held by your local council, this information is protected by UK GDPR. Data breaches involving this information might include:

  • Rent statements that are sent to a third party by mistake.
  • A tenancy agreement being deleted or destroyed unlawfully.
  • Tenancy documents being sent to the wrong address, meaning that someone else has access to your personal data.

If you have any questions about data breach claims against a council or local authority, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our advisors will be happy to offer you free legal advice.

Reporting Data Protection Breaches To The ICO

When you suffer a data breach, you may choose to report it to the ICO. You’re not obligated to do this, but it can help you get to the bottom of how your data breach occurred. The findings of their investigation can also serve as evidence if you make a data breach claim.

You should report the breach to the responsible council before getting in touch with the ICO. Once you’ve undergone the council’s complaints procedure and you’ve received a response, you can decide whether the response is satisfactory. 

If you’re unsatisfied with the local council’s response, you may decide to report the data breach to the ICO. In order to report the incident to the ICO, you must do it within 3 months since your last meaningful communication with the council. You can report a breach to the ICO online. 

It’s worth noting that the ICO can’t award compensation to you. In order to receive compensation for the harm caused to you by an avoidable data breach, you will need to pursue a compensation claim. 

How To Claim For A Public Sector Data Breach

Our team of advisers are available 24 hours a day to provide free legal advice about your case. An adviser will be happy to chat with you about your situation and assess your needs. If you have a valid case, an adviser can connect you to one of our lawyers to discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you. There’s no legal obligation to have a solicitor work on your behalf when making a claim, but you may find it makes the claims process easier to navigate. 

A solicitor may encourage you to report it to the ICO before going forward with your claim. However, they may instead suggest you could launch a claim against the local authority without reporting the incident to the ICO.

Types Of Compensation You May Claim

There are two types of damages you may be able to claim compensation for in a data breach claim. These are non-material and material damages. Effectively, this means you can claim compensation for emotional distress or financial loss.

Material damages compensate for the ways the data breach has impacted you financially. An example of this is if you suffer a credit card data breach. This could result in criminals stealing money from your bank account. It could also cause long-term damage to your credit score, making it difficult for you to get loans or a mortgage in the future. 

Non-material damages offer compensation for any psychological impact you experienced due to the data breach. An example of emotional distress you may experience is anxiety, stress or depression that your money has been stolen. This could affect you in the long term as well as immediately after the data is exposed. 

If you’d like to discuss these types of damages at more length and assess whether you may be able to claim for them, you can contact our friendly team of advisers. They’d be happy to offer advice about your situation and assess whether you may be eligible to claim for a Salford City Council data breach. 

Compensation Calculator For A Data Breach By Salford City Council

Some data breach articles may have a compensation calculator to provide an estimated figure of how much compensation you may be able to claim. Instead, we’ve chosen to include a table to show the compensation brackets some injuries may attract. These figures are taken from guidelines provided by the Judicial College

Please note that this table is only an example and the figures may differ depending on each individual case.

Injury:Severity:Notes:Compensation:
Psychological Damage SevereThe abuse of trust may lead you to develop long-term trust issues and anxiety surrounding your data being breached again. This could make you unable to work due to the severe psychological effects you experience. £51,460 to £108,620
Psychological Damage Moderately SevereYou may be unable to return to work or continue your social life the same as before the data breach, but recovery is more likely.£17,900 to £51,460
Psychological Damage Less SevereYour sleep and daily activities will be affected but not significantly. The chance of recovery is high. Up to £5,500
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) SevereAll parts of your life, such as work and social life, will be impacted significantly. Your life will not continue the same way it did before the data breach.£56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Moderately SevereYou will experience significant disability that will restrict your daily activities for a prolonged period of time. However, the change of recovery is more likely with professional help. £21,730 to £56,180

The landmark case Vida-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] changed the way that compensation is awarded in data breach claims. The Court held that non-material damages and material damages should be awarded separately. Before this case, you could only claim compensation for non-material damages if you had also been awarded material damages. 

No Win No Fee Solicitors For A Salford City Council Data Breach 

Our solicitors can represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. A No Win No Fee agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), is a contract between you and your solicitor that dictates the terms under which they will be paid. 

If your case fails, you don’t have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has obtained while working on your case. If your case succeeds, your solicitor will take a small, capped percentage from your compensation. This is set out before the claim begins and ensures you receive the majority of the awarded compensation. 

You can have a chat with our team of advisers to learn more about No Win No Fee agreement policies and how they work. If your claim is valid, they can connect you to our solicitors who will handle your case on a No Win No Fee basis. 

Check If A Lawyer Could Help You

When looking for a data breach solicitor that you’d like to work with, you don’t have to just look locally. You can work with our lawyers even if you live far away. It may help to look at reviews from claimants to see how they found working with a particular lawyer.

Here are some reviews from our claimants:

  • ‘The process was smooth.’ – Laura, 2019
  • ‘I would recommend them.’ – Anonymous, 2019 
  • ‘Really polite and professional.’ – Anonymous, 2019 

You can have a chat about your situation with our expert team of advisers who can assess your claim. If your claim has a good chance of being successful, they can connect you with our solicitors who’d be happy to discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you. 

Get In Contact With Us

Thank you for reading our guide about claims if a Salford City Council Data breach was to occur. You can contact our team of advisers for free legal advice. It’s important to work with a lawyer who understands the importance of your claim and has an empathetic approach to it. 

Our team of advisers are available via:

  • A phone call on 0800 073 8804 where an adviser will be happy to offer you free legal advice. 
  • Our online claims form where you can receive a response whenever best suits you.
  • Our online live chat pop-up box where one of our advisers will reply immediately. 

Related Claims

Nursery Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide– If you’ve been involved in a nursery data breach, our guide discusses how you can make a data breach claim.

Dentist Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – Our article explores how you can pursue a data breach compensation claim.

HR Data Breaches Compensation Claims Guide  – Have you experienced an HR data breach? Our guide talks about the ways you may be able to file a data breach claim.

Personal data breaches – This ICO link discusses the GDPR rules that organisations need to follow to keep data safe.

Your data matters – You can read this ICO guide to check what rights you have over your personal data.

Action We’ve Taken – This link looks at what action the ICO has taken against data breaches. 

FAQs

When can and can’t data be shared?

Data can be shared when there is a lawful basis for doing so. For instance, your employer may share your information with HMRC because they have a legal obligation to do so.  

What responsibilities do data controllers have?

According to the UK GDPR, data controllers have the responsibility to keep your personal data safe and secure. They must follow the seven basic principles of the UK GDPR.

Am I eligible to make a claim?

If you’ve been caused financial or emotional harm as the result of a data breach caused by the failings of a council, you may be able to make a claim. You can contact our team of advisers to receive free legal advice about your case.

If you have any questions about what your rights would be if a Salford City Council data breach was to occur call our team of advisors. 

Guide by Naylor

Edited by Stocks

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