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Sheffield Hallam University Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Sheffield Hallam University Data Breach

My Information Was Exposed In A University Data Breach, Could I Claim Compensation?

Welcome to our guide exploring the legal justifications behind pursuing a data breach claim against Sheffield Hallam University.

Sheffield Hallam University data breach claims guide

Sheffield Hallam University data breach claims guide

The consequences of being the victim of a data breach caused by a university can be extremely distressing. Our guide provides information on how a university is legally obliged to keep your personal data secure at all times. We go on to explain your legal rights and recourse if you’re impacted by such an incident.

To find out if you can make a data breach claim against Sheffield Hallam University, please continue reading our guide or get in touch with our team.

If you feel you are ready to make a claim, please contact an adviser who will assess your case free of charge. One of our specialist data breach solicitors can then take on your case on a No Win No Fee basis. Please call a member of our team on the following telephone number 0800 073 8804.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against Sheffield Hallam University

Any organisation that collects your personal data must abide by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Personal data has to be stored securely by organisations, as well as using that data in ways that you have consented to. If there is a data breach, regulations may have been violated.

You could file a data breach claim against Sheffield Hallam University providing you can show they did not abide by the law and, as a result, you suffered damage to your finances or mental health.

We have put together this guide to explain how you could seek data breach compensation on a No Win No Fee basis if it can be proven that the university was at fault for exposing your private information.

It is worth noting the time limit associated with data breach claims which stand at 6 years from the date you obtained knowledge of the breach. That said, if human rights are impacted, the time limit is just 1 year. It is always wiser to start a claim as soon as possible to avoid running out of time.

If you need advice about making a data breach claim against Sheffield Hallam University, please get in touch with a Legal Expert adviser today. You will benefit from free legal advice about claiming compensation and how best to take your claim forward.

What Are Breaches Of Data Protection At Sheffield Hallam University?

You could be the victim of a data breach if your personal data is lost. However, a data breach could also involve the following:

  • Personal data gets destroyed
  • Your personal data is disclosed or accessed by an authorised person/s whether it is by error, accidental, or deliberate
  • A company/university that holds your personal data is hacked due to insufficient cybersecurity and the information is accessed

Universities, organisations as well as businesses that collect personal data from the general public as well as employees and other people must follow the law. A failure to do so could result in heavy fines being issued against organisations.

The Law Relating to Data Protection

The law in the UK requires that personal data be securely stored so it is protected. This comes from the Data Protection Act 2018, which enacted into domestic law the EU’s GDPR. If there is a breach in security it could result in the following:

  • Leaks
  • Exposure
  • Theft
  • Loss
  • Data is altered in some way

A data breach in a university could affect students, teachers, alumni and administrative staff. Last year, there was a data breach at a service provider called Blackbaud, an incident we’ll look more closely at below. Sheffield Hallam University was among the universities affected by the data breach.

Blackbaud was hacked via a ransomware virus and hackers accessed a sub-set of data which included personal information held by a number of universities, including Sheffield Hallam University. The personal data that were stolen from the system included:

  • Names and contact details of alumni, stakeholders, and donors
  • Details of degrees, dates studied and graduation information

The cybercriminals did not access any personal bank details or other personal financial information during the security breach. The university does not hold this type of personal data with the company.

That said, Blackbaud is said to have paid a ‘ransom’ to the cybercriminal who breached their security. The attack was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

You could be entitled to compensation if you can prove that you’re the victim of a data breach by Sheffield Hallam University. However, a claim in relation to Blackbaud would likely not be made against the university but Blackbaud instead.

For free legal advice on whether you have grounds to make a claim, please get in touch with an adviser at Legal Expert today.

Applying The GDPR To Universities

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) must be adhered to by universities, companies and other businesses at all times. Data controllers and processors have a duty to ensure personal data is not breached by unauthorised persons.

When a university collects your personal data they are legally obliged to ensure all the information is protected. The law requires that your personal data is secure and that your privacy is protected.

Just like any other organisation that collects, processes, and stores personal information, a university has a duty to keep it safe and secure and not to use it in ways you do not consent to. This is to protect your personal data from unauthorised access and use.

The law also requires that a university operates correct procedures to protects your personal data. In short, a university should have adequate cybersecurity systems in place that meet personal data protection requirements.

Your case may be valid if you can show a data breach claim against Sheffield Hallam University caused you harm, whether financial or psychological, and that it was the fault of the university.

GDPR Rules

For a university or other organisation to be GDPR compliant, the data controller and/or data processor is responsible for abiding by the following GDPR rules:

  • Personal data is only collected and used if the person concerned (data subject) gives their permission
  • Data subjects are told how their personal data is used when it is collected
  • Personal data is not used for any other purpose
  • Data processors/data controllers need to abide by relevant laws in countries they operate in

For free legal advice on whether you have good reason to make a data breach claim against Sheffield Hallam University, please contact a member of the Legal Expert team today.

How The Blackbaud Data Breach Affected Sheffield Hallam University

Blackbaud is one of the world’s largest education administration providers. The company also manages financial and fundraising management software. Blackbaud reported that a data breach took place back in 2020 that affected students, staff and alumni of many universities in the United Kingdom including Sheffield Hallam.

The data accessed in the cybersecurity breach included the following:

  • Names
  • Titles
  • Genders
  • Dates of birth
  • Addresses
  • Contact details including email addresses

If you can prove that you are a victim of the Blackbaud breach, you could seek compensation. Find out if your case can be taken on a No Win No Fee basis by getting in touch with a Legal Expert adviser today.

Statistics On How Many Universities Have Had Data Breaches

A survey carried out by IT security firm Redscan, revealed that 54% of responding universities had reported a data breach. The reports were sent to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) during the preceding 12 months.

A large portion of the 86 UK universities that responded admitted shortcomings. The survey showed most universities admitted their inability to prevent data breaches. The report found:

  • 46% of university staff did not receive cybersecurity awareness training during the past 12 months
  • An average of just £7,529 per year was spent on educating staff in cybersecurity

A lack of student training in data security was also evident with only 51% of universities proactively providing any. That said, the report did point out that 37% of universities did provide the necessary resources to any students when requested.

If you are not sure if you can make a personal data breach claim against Sheffield Hallam University, please speak to a member of our team today.

Criminal Breaches In Cybersecurity

A number of universities in the UK carry out vital research. As such, cybercriminals and hackers target them to get their hands on intellectual property. There have been reports of cybercriminals attempting to hack universities so they can steal important coronavirus research.

For years universities have been vulnerable to criminal cyber-attacks because they are not well enough equipped. They do not have sufficient cyber-security knowledge and investment is lacking. Additionally, cyber-attacks are a lot more sophisticated these days with many universities not being able to afford the necessary security.

Studies show that one of the most dangerous criminal cyber-attacks consisted of phishing. Universities in the United Kingdom got millions of these in a single 12 month period. Phishing is a method of impersonating genuine sites to extract key data from users, like usernames and passwords.

If you were the victim of a data breach, you could file a claim. For free legal advice on whether you could seek compensation, please call an adviser today.

How You Could Be Compensated For Your Data Breach

If you are the victim of a data breach, it can lead to a lot of stress. Knowing someone has your personal details can be extremely traumatic and could lead to harm being done. If an organisation/university does not protect your personal information, you could have good reason to make a data breach claim.

You can claim both material damages and non-material damages in a data breach claim against a university. Material damages relate to financial losses and impacts, such as monetary or identity theft. Non-material damages relate to the mental harm caused by the breach, such as developing conditions such as stress, anxiety or depression.

Being a victim of a data breach can also affect family and friends. The breach could turn into a permanent problem. The amount awarded depends on several things such as:

  • The seriousness of the data breach
  • The impact of the data breach

To receive free legal advice from a member of the Legal Expert team, please get in touch by calling the number at the top of the page.

Settlement Calculator For Data Breach Claims Against Sheffield Hallam University

Solicitors and courts value data breach claims by comparing your case to previous similar claims. An example being Vidal-Hall and others vs Google [2015]. When you contact Legal Expert, a data breach solicitor will assess your case taking into account psychological distress. As such, conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and/or depression will be factored into the amount awarded.

The table below provides an idea of how much data breach compensation may be awarded in a successful claim.

Type of Injury/harmSeverityEstimated Compensation
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Severe£56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Moderate to severe£21,730 to £56,180
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Moderate£7,680 to £21,730
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Less severeUp to £7,680
Psychiatric HarmSevere£51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric HarmModerate to severe£17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric HarmModerate£5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric HarmLess seriousUp to £5,500

Please get in touch for a more accurate estimate on how much your data breach claim against Sheffield Hallam University could be worth. A Legal Expert adviser can provide free legal advice on how best to take a claim forward.

How Could I Start My Claim Against A University?

If you are the victim of a data breach, you could have grounds to seek compensation for the harm it caused. To begin a claim there are certain things you should do which are as follows:

  1. Lodge a complaint with the university. Ask them to confirm what data was exposed.
  2. You can ask for compensation directly from the organisation, though they may not entertain such an idea.
  3. If 3 months pass with no meaningful contact from the university you can make a complaint to the ICO.
  4. The ICO may investigate the case if it’s sufficiently serious. But they won’t award compensation.
  5. Instead, you can consider pursuing your own claim by seeking out the support of a data breach solicitor. This is where we can help you.

To learn more about what steps you could take after being informed of a breach, why not contact our team?

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Sheffield Hallam University

Legal Expert offers claimants who have good reason to seek compensation for a data breach the ability to do so on a No Win No Fee basis. An adviser will assess your case in an initial consultation free of charge.

If we find you have good reason to sue for compensation, we will connect you to one of our expert data breach solicitors. The solicitor would take on your case on a No Win No Fee basis. In short, you can choose to fund your data breach claim against Sheffield Hallam University with a No Win No Fee Agreement (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement).

There are lots of benefits to working with a No Win No Fee solicitor. This includes:

  • Not having to pay upfront or ongoing fees
  • If your claim is unsuccessful, you do not have to pay a No Win No Fee solicitor any fees
  • If your claim is a success, you would pay your solicitor a small percentage of your compensation award to cover their costs. This percentage is capped by law.

To find out if your case can be taken on by one of our No Win No Fee lawyers, please get in touch with a Legal Expert adviser today.

Start Your Claim

To benefit from free legal advice please get in touch with a member of the Legal Expert team today. We will assess your case and if we find you have good reason to sue, you can fund your case with a No Win No Fee agreement.

You can reach an adviser in the following ways:

Related Guides

In our final section, we’ve included some guides on data breach law that you may find useful.

Please read our guide to Crown Prosecution Service data breaches

Our guide to PTSD compensation claims

Our guide to psychological injury compensation claims

Government Information relating to data protection

We appreciate you taking the time to review our guide to pursuing a data breach claim against Sheffield Hallam University.

Guide by Wood

Edited by Billing

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