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Slough Borough Council Data Breach Claims

Should a Slough Borough Council data breach occur would this mean personal data has been breached? And if so, what steps could be taken to find out?

Slough Borough council data breach claims guide

Slough Borough council data breach claims guide

Organisations, like local authorities, collect our data when we connect to them. However, the way our personal information can be used has changed because of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK’s very version of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The purpose of this article is to examine if a council data breach can result in you being able to claim compensation for any harm caused by the breach.

The GDPR improves the privacy of individuals by strengthening their control on how data collectors, those who process data, use their information. Below in this guide, we shall examine the criteria that have to be met for a data subject, those who supply personal data, to be able to make a claim.

Our advisors will assess your case without any obligation on your part. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to receive free advice. Please contact Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804 if you would like more information on how to begin a claim today.

This guide shall provide answers to questions you may have if a Slough Borough Council data breach ever takes place.

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A Guide To Dealing With A Slough Borough Council Data Breach

In this article, we are going to show you how to determine whether you have a valid data breach claim, with an emphasis on data breaches that are the result of human error.

Throughout the article, we will give you a brief overview of why you might be able to file a claim against a local authority for a data breach. Additionally, the information provided defines the types of data that must be protected by law.

In the following sections, we examine how the council is required to be in compliance with the UK data protection laws, and how if it is not, then it could create a risk for the security of your data. Additionally, we provide you with examples of data breaches.

The next part of the guide focuses on reporting, complaints, and claims relating to data breaches. Also covered are some financial considerations when filing a claim.

In our article, you will see that we have added an example compensation table that we have accompanied by information on the sort of damages you could be entitled to claim. We explain how No Win No Fee agreements work and when you could be offered these terms by a solicitor from our team.

The closing section of this guide shows how we could help you when filing a claim in the event of a data breach. The last part of our guide concludes with some useful links, along with a few basic FAQs.

Time Limits for Filing a Claim

To be able to bring an action for a breach of data, you will have to make sure you commence the claim within the appropriate timeframe. Additionally, this time limit will be determined by the circumstances under which your claim has been filed. If you are claiming against a public body then you have one-year to start your claim. Generally, other claims have 6 years.

If you are at all unsure, please get in touch today. Following a potential Slough Borough Council data breach Legal Expert could offer advice and a free case assessment. All you have to do is call our advisors any time of the day or night.

How Many Data Breaches Have Happened In 2021?

Data privacy legislation in the UK is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO keeps a register of notifiable data breaches in order to investigate them and act where necessary. It is possible for the public to access a sizeable portion of the data it holds.

We have used data from the Government’s Cyber Security Survey 2021 to create the graph shown below based on what businesses consider the most disruptive kind of attack.

Slough Borough Council data breach

What Could A Slough Borough Council Data Breach Be?

Data breaches concern cyber security incidents that mean personal information has been lost, stolen, altered, or accessed without authority. This can be either physical printed documentation or digital data that has been compromised. Data breaches can happen intentionally or accidentally.

What Laws Protect My Data?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU directive. It was enacted into UK law through the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). Once the UK left the EU the DPA was altered and runs alongside the UK GDPR. 

What Sort of Data Is Protected?

The UK GDPR only applies to some types of data. The type of data that, if improperly exposed or used, might cause some form of harm to you is covered by data protection law. The UK GDPR protects specific personal data. An individual’s personal data/information is any information that could be used to identify the individual directly or indirectly.

This can include:

  • His or her telephone number, name, and address
  • Special data is a type of data that requires more security. In essence, this is information about you, including your sexual orientation, your health information, biometric data, genetic data, trade union membership, religious beliefs, political opinions, and your ethnic/racial background.

What should a local council do after a data breach?

A local authority should report a data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if it poses a risk to data subjects rights and freedoms.

So if a Slough Borough Council data breach arose that affected the rights and freedoms of those who have their information stored, the council would need to inform the ICO within 72 hours. Further, they need to notify data subjects as well.

Does The UK GDPR Apply To Local Government Bodies?

Generally, any organisation that collects and processes personal data must abide by the DPA 2018 and the UK GDPR.

To prevent a Slough Borough Council data breach the local authority should adhere to the seven data protection principles laid out in the UK GDPR. These include the following:

  1. Keeping your personal data to a minimum.
  2. Transparency, fairness, and legality.
  3. Keeping your personal data for a limited period of time.
  4. Protecting your personal data.
  5. Maintaining accurate and up-to-date personal information.
  6. Purpose limitation
  7. Being responsible for data processing actions and complying with other principles.

Those who do not adhere to the UK GDPR but have a responsibility to keep your data safe could be fined by the ICO.

Ways In Which Breaches Of Data Protection Happen?

Having established the possibility of breaches, now let’s explore specific ways that they may occur. A breach can be caused by an under-performing or hacked computer, but human error is much more common.

You might find it useful to consider the following examples:

  • Information containing sensitive or personal information is incorrectly disposed of.
  • The public may access documents containing personal information if they are left in public areas of a council office
  • Staff computers are left unlocked in public areas, and your personal information can be seen
  • Letters containing sensitive or personal information are sent to the wrong address
  • Laptops and memory sticks that are not encrypted are left on the train.
  • Sensitive documents containing personal information are lost.

Please call and speak with an adviser if you believe your personal information has been exposed due to a local council’s failures through human error. If a Slough Borough Council data breach occurred our advisors would provide a free no-obligation consultation so that you can have any questions you have answered. The claims team are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for your convenience.

Breaches Of Rent Statement Data Privacy

The amount of information the council stores and processes about you could increase every time you pay rent if you live in council housing. Even when the council possesses or processes your personal data, it is legally obligated to protect it.

How could rent statement data potentially be breached:

  • Someone unlawfully accesses a financial document that identifies you, such as a rent statement
  • Your rent statement is sent to the wrong address
  • The file containing your rent statements is thrown in general waste instead of being disposed of securely.

If you have any questions at all pertaining to a data breach our advisors will provide free advice which carries no obligation to proceed. Call today and have your questions answered.

What Happens When You Complain To ICO?

When they receive reports of data breaches, the ICO can investigate them. However, before contacting the ICO you may want to start communication with the organisation you hold responsible for allowing your data to be breached.

To file a complaint with the ICO you must not leave it longer than 3 months from your last meaningful response from the data controller. The ICO may not investigate if too much time has passed.

The ICO does not have the authority to award compensation to you. It is possible for them to fine the data controller if they find that they have breached data protection laws.

How To Claim Damages From A Local Authority

It is not a necessity to have a data breach solicitor represent your case. You are well within your rights to pursue your claim without legal representation. However, having an expert help you file a data breach claim can be the difference between it being successful and failing. A data breach lawyer will not only have the knowledge needed but also the expertise and capabilities.

Steps you could take following a data breach;

  • Your first step should be to contact the council to find out what can be done
  • The ICO may be contacted within three months of the council’s last meaningful response in this regard if the situation is not resolved
  • Gather evidence of your pecuniary loss, psychological distress, and of the data breach itself

We can provide more information about the claims process if you call our advisers. Should a Slough Borough Council data breach occur our advisors are there to answer any questions.

What Can You Receive Compensation For?

If you make a successful data breach claim you could be awarded two types of damages. Each of these is independent of the other. There are non-material damages which look to compensate you for the psychological suffering caused. Then we have material damages that will focus on any monetary losses.

Making a claim for mental hardship

Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. was heard in 2015 at the Court of Appeal. The claim was successful, setting a precedent. If you haven’t suffered any pecuniary loss from a breach of personal data, but have been psychologically ill, you are eligible for compensation.

It may be possible for you to claim if you have suffered financial losses or psychological harm (or both types of damages).

A data breach can be a traumatic experience. Think about the possibility of having to replace all of your credit/debit cards, have your passport reissued, have your back accounts changed, to name but a few issues you may have to face.

In order to prove non-material damage, you would have to undergo a medical examination. The report would be prepared by a medical examiner who is an independent third party. Information in the report could include:

  • The data breach caused or worsened your injuries
  • The severity of your injuries

You might find that it will be more difficult to claim for non-material damages if the report doesn’t identify a connection between your injuries and the data breach.

The report can also be used by a solicitor to determine the value of your injuries.

Making a Claim For Monetary Loss

A data breach can lead to a variety of financial losses. Firstly, a third party could access your financial details and use your credit cards. Secondly, you may have to spend money to make a claim.

As an example, if your bank information were accessed and used for the purpose of stealing money from your account, and you were unable to recover it, you could use bank statements to prove your losses. You could recover these losses if your material damage claim is successful.

Calculating Damages For Breaches Of Data Protection

A successful claim for non-material damages would result in you being awarded damages based on personal injury law.

Here is a table illustrating potential compensation for specific psychological harm. The bracket amounts are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines. Insurance companies, lawyers, and courts may use this publication to help value injuries. Or you could use this compensation calculator.

Injury/harm Notes Potential amount awarded
Psychological trauma – PTSD A claimant presents with extremely severe physical symptoms that inhibit him or her from working and taking part in normal activities. This can have a negative impact on their relationships as well £56,180 – £94,470
Psychological trauma – PTSD The claimant experiences moderately severe symptoms. Similar to the above but the prognosis is more positive. £17,900 – £51,460
Psychological trauma – PTSD A good recovery has been made to this moderate condition and any ongoing symptoms will not have a huge impact on persons life. £7,680 – £21,730
Psychological trauma – PTSD A complete recovery of the claimant is expected to take place within two years Up to £7,680
Psychiatric injury The claimant in this case has severe psychiatric injury as a result of the incident. Amounts of compensation awarded to people who have been adversely affected will depend on their ability to work, how their lives have changed, and whether they have had a negative impact on their relationships as a result. £51,460 – £108,620
Psychiatric injury Prospects are better for those suffering from moderately severe symptoms than mentioned above but for the foreseeable the symptoms will be largely disabling. £17,900 – £51,460
Psychiatric injury The prognosis is more optimistic as marked improvements have taken place. £5,500 – £17,900
Psychiatric injury There is a high likelihood that the claimant who suffers milder symptoms due to mental harm will recover fully Up to £5,500

As you can see from the data, claims are based on how severe your suffering is. During your claim, your solicitor will need to book an appointment for a local medical assessment. Medical specialists will discuss the consequences of your privacy breach with you during your appointment. Medical records may also be reviewed if available. Following the appointment, the specialist will draft a report detailing their findings and forward it to your solicitor.

No Win No Fee Claims For A Slough Borough Council Data Breach

A lot of people find that the cost of legal representation is an obstacle when hiring a specialist solicitor. Our solicitors offer No Win No Fee services to remove the financial barrier and reduce stress levels.

Therefore, a No Win No Fee solicitor will look into whether there is a good chance of success before starting work. If there are valid grounds to make a claim, the solicitor would draft a No Win No Fee agreement for you to sign if you are happy to.

This is a contract that explains the following:

  • The claim can be started immediately since no money is needed upfront to pay the solicitor
  • In addition, the case will continue without any additional costs to pay the solicitor
  • You won’t be charged any solicitor’s fees if you make an unsuccessful compensation claim

Additionally, the agreement with a No Win No Fee lawyer also includes a section on success fees. If you win the case, a solicitor will keep a small portion of your compensation. It covers the costs of the solicitor and has a legal cap.

How The Process Of Making A Claim Works

There are many factors to consider when selecting a solicitor. What is your approach to choosing a lawyer? Are you influenced by friends, reviews, or choosing a local lawyer who is close to your home? You can do any of the above, or you can contact one of our expert advisers who will put you in touch with one of our specialist solicitors.

In addition to providing no-obligation assessments, we also provide free advice. Our solicitors will manage all of the communication on your behalf if we accept your claim. Additionally, they are always available to answer questions. So, if you are still unsure, we invite you to check our past client reviews.

Our lawyers offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis and have the necessary legal expertise to oversee your case. They will:

  • Negotiate on your behalf with the other party
  • Keep everything simple by removing legal jargon
  • Accurately value your claim
  • Finally, they will represent you in court if necessary

We can provide you with more information if you contact us today.

Talk To An Expert

Thank you for reading our guide about the processes involved should a Slough Borough Council data breach ever happen. Get all of the free legal advice you need by contacting one of the advisers using the contact information provided below.

An adviser can let you know if a claim is valid. In the event that the claim is strong, our solicitors will be able to assist you. No Win No Fee agreements may also be possible in this case.

In addition, our advisers are here 24/7 and will not put you under any obligation to pursue a claim.

  • We can be reached at 0800 073 8804
  • Via webchat
  • Email at
  • And finally, you can fill in an online claim form

Useful Information

Some links to other Legal Expert guides:

Links to some external websites:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I claim for a data breach?

Not all data breaches that expose personal information will mean a data breach claim can be made. To hold a valid claim you must prove that not enough was done to protect your data.

How do I know if my data was breached?

You may start receiving strange emails which could include phishing emails or ransomware. Other signs to watch out for include:

  • Internet searches redirected
  • People you know receiving social media invitations that pretend to be from you
  • An online password stops working

Who could make a data breach claim?

To be eligible to make a data breach claim the onus is on you to prove that a data controller did not take enough steps to keep your data secure.

To conclude, thank you for reading our guide about the processes involved should a Slough Borough Council data breach ever happen.

Guide By Woods

Edited By Melissa.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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