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

University Of Swansea Data Protection Breach Claims Explained

A data breach claim against Swansea University may be justified if you have evidence that the university was responsible for your personal information being unlawfully accessed. However, you will need to have suffered damage to either your finances or your mental well-being in order to seek compensation. In this guide, we explain how we can help.

You may be studying at the University of Swansea, or you could be a former student. You could be connected to the university in some other way, such as working for them as a contractor. Regardless, your personal data will have been collected, processed and stored by the university. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018, all organisations that gather personal data must be GDPR compliant.

Swansea University data breach claims guide

Swansea University data breach claims guide

If a university fails to follow the law and your personal data is comprised, you could have grounds to sue. The compensation payout you receive in a successful claim could reimburse your financial losses and the emotional harm you suffered.

We have put together this guide to making a data breach claim against a university to explain when a case could be valid. Our guide covers many aspects of data breach claims which includes how you could be negatively impacted. We then provide essential information on your rights and the data protection laws that all organisations must follow.

Reporting a Data Breach

We offer advice on how to report a data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Additionally, we provide a general idea of how much a successful data breach claim may be worth. Lastly, we provide advice on how Legal Expert can connect you to one o four specialist No Win No Fee solicitors.

If you would like more information on claiming data breach compensation, please continue reading our guide. Alternatively, if you are ready to begin a claim, a member of the Legal Expert team is here to answer any questions you have. An adviser can be reached on 0800 073 8804 and all calls are free of charge.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against Swansea University

When you are the victim of a data breach, the consequences can be deeply distressing. It does not matter how your personal information is compromised, the effect could lead to mental anguish, stress, as well as financial losses. The problem could even lead to identity theft.

Under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018, all organisations that collect, process, and store someone’s personal information must abide by the law. If a university fails in its duty to keep your personal data secure, you could pursue compensation.

Our guide to the legal justifications behind a data breach claim against Swansea University provides essential advice on what you can do. We provide information on your rights under the GDPR and the Data Protection Act. Furthermore, our guide explains how an organisation could be fined by the ICO for not protecting personal data.

Our guide offers valuable advice on how you could be represented by one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. We explain how a Conditional Fee Agreement works and the benefits this type of contract with a solicitor offers you.

Data Breach Claims Time Limits

It is worth noting there is a time limit to seeking compensation for a data breach. To clarify, if you would like to make a data breach claim against Swansea University, you have to do so within the statutory time limit of 6 years.

This deadline starts from the date you gained knowledge of the data breach. If your human rights are affected by a breach, the time limit is much shorter, being 1 year from the time you were made aware of the incident. As such, it is far wiser to seek legal advice as soon as you can to prevent a claim from being time-barred.

To speak to a member of the Legal Expert team and to benefit from free legal advice, please call the number shown at the top of the page.

What Are Breaches In Data Protection At Swansea University?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) enforces the law regarding data breaches. The ICO defines personal data as:

  • Information that identifies a person whether directly or indirectly

The sort of personal information that a university could collect, process, and store may include the following:

  • A person’s name
  • Addresses, email addresses and/or IP addresses
  • Medical data/information
  • Financial information

These are just some types of personal information a university may collect, process, and store for students, staff, alumni, and others who are connected to the university.

A University Data Breach Explained

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) defines data breaches as:

  • A security breach that negatively impacts confidentiality, integrity or availability of personal data

A breach in security does not necessarily have to involve a cyber-attack. A data breach could also occur when a file containing personal information is not securely stored in a locked filing cabinet. In short, someone may access your personal data without permission.

A data breach could result in:

  • Personal information being lost
  • Data is stolen
  • Information is no longer accessible
  • Personal data is shared with others unlawfully
  • Data is destroyed, altered, or corrupted

The Causes of a University Data Breach

A breach in data security at a university could occur in several ways, such as:

  • An error on the part of admin/staff
  • A malicious act
  • Computer viruses
  • Personal information is sent to the wrong recipients by admin or member of staff
  • Hackers
  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Spyware
  • Phishing emails
  • Distribution Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
  • Theft of computers and devices
  • Physical files containing personal data not being securely stored
  • Computer system security vulnerabilities are not rectified

Were you the victim of a data breach? If you have evidence that it was the university’s fault and you’ve suffered financial or mental damage as a consequence, you may be able to seek compensation through a data breach claim against Swansea University.

Legal Expert can help by first offering you a free, no-obligation consultation, and second, by connecting you to our No Win No Fee solicitors. As such, please get in touch with a member of our team on the number shown at the top of the page.

How Universities Have To Adapt To The GDPR

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation came into force in 2018. It was made into law in the UK by the Data Protection Act 2018. Thanks to the legislation, people have more control over how their personal data is collected, processed, and stored by organisations (data controllers).

Data controllers must abide by the regulations and follow the seven principles incorporated into the General Data Protection Act.

These 7 key principles include:

  1. Data minimisation
  2. Purpose limitation
  3. Lawfulness, transparency, and fairness
  4. Accuracy
  5. Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  6. Accountability
  7. Storage limitation

To find out whether you have grounds to make a data breach claim against Swansea University, please contact a member of our team. An adviser will provide you with free legal advice on how best to proceed if you have grounds to sue for data breach compensation.

How Universities Have Been Affected By Breaches In Data Protection

Blackbaud, a cloud service provider was the victim of a cyber attack in 2020. Staff, students, alumni, and other people’s personal data was stolen from the databases relating to several universities which Blackbaud was contracted to manage. This included the following UK universities:

If you’ve received correspondence from your university advising you that you’ve been impacted by a data breach, you may well be entitled to compensation. However, evidence will be required, as well as proof that you’ve suffered damage to your mental health or finances.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53528329

Accidental Data Breaches in UK Universities

A data breach can occur accidentally. Incidents do not have to necessarily happen due to a cyber-attack.

In one example, a member of staff at the University of East Anglia accidentally transmitted a spreadsheet to the incorrect recipients—300 in total. The spreadsheet contained the personal data of students which included information on health issues and bereavements. Compensation payouts stood at over £140,000 which was settled by the university.

Would you like to know if you have a valid data breach claim? A member of the Legal Expert team will assess your case in a no-obligation consultation which is free of charge.

How Many Universities Have Been Affected By Data Breaches?

When your personal data is compromised in a breach, the ICO has the power to issue a hefty fine. The Information Commissioner’s Office would investigate the breach and if the university is found in breach of GDPR, the fines issued could be substantial. It is worth noting that the maximum GDPR fine for a data breach in the UK stands at £17.5 million, or 4% of an offending organisation’s annual global turnover, whichever of the two is the greater.

There have been several data breaches at universities in the UK over recent years. This includes one incident at the University of Greenwich.

The fine was issued to the university by the ICO for non-compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (before the GDPR and the Data Protection Act was enacted into law). It was handed out in relation to a microsite which was set up for a training conference. However, it was not securely shut down when the event ended.

Cybercriminals took advantage of vulnerabilities in the system and around 19,500 contact details, as well as approximately 3,500 records holding sensitive information, was unlawfully accessed.

If you’ve been impacted by such a breach, please get in touch for free legal advice.

Cybercrimes Affecting Universities

An independent report published by the cybersecurity firm Redscan found that over half of the universities that replied to their Freedom of Information request had reported a data security incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the preceding 12 months.

Redscan also found:

  • Around 25% of universities conducted no independent penetration testing of their IT security systems.
  • Just over half (54%) of university staff received internet security training

With so much research conducted at universities, as well as the vast amounts of personal data they hold, it is quite surprising to see these figures.

Source: https://www.redscan.com/news/state-of-cybersecurity-uk-universities-foi-report/

Cyber-Attacks on Universities

Universities should install robust security systems to prevent data breaches. Cybercriminals now have access to more sophisticated tools and they often target universities because of the sensitive information they hold.

The sort of cybercrimes that could occur and which could negatively impact staff, students, alumni and others connected to a university include:

  • Phishing emails – the most dangerous and common form of cyber-attack on universities
  • Ransomware
  • Spyware
  • Malware
  • Information theft
  • DDos attacks

Were you the victim of a data breach? Did it impact your finances and mental health, and do you have proof to back it up? Then please get in touch with the Legal Expert team today and find out if you have grounds to make a data breach claim against Swansea University.

Types Of Compensation Awarded For Breaches In Data Privacy

When personal data is shared without your permission, it can leave you feeling vulnerable. You may find it hard to think about anything else which could negatively impact your overall health and well-being.

You could even start receiving strange emails or calls, some of which could be forms of phishing—trying to trick you into giving up your financial information. Furthermore, you may become a victim of identity theft, all of which plays on your mind.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you have the right to seek compensation and you could claim both material damages (financial harm) and non-material damages (mental harm).

You could receive material damages in a successful data breach claim against Swansea University for financial losses you suffered. On top of material damages, you could also receive non-material damages for any psychological impact, such as stress, depression or anxiety.

For free legal advice on whether you have grounds to make a data breach claim against Swansea University, please get in touch with a Legal Expert adviser today.

Calculating Settlements For Data Breach Claims Against Swansea University

A case heard in the Court of Appeal, Vidal-Hall and others vs Google [2015], set a legal precedent when it comes to data breach compensation. The Court ruled that claimants should be awarded compensation for the psychiatric and psychological caused by a data breach, even if no financial damage has been suffered. This was a departure from the previous position in which financial damage was required to claim for any mental impact.

When valuing mental injuries, solicitors, insurers, as well as courts base the value of a claim on similar past cases. These guideline figures can be found in a publication produced by the Judicial College. Using them, we’ve compiled the table below.

Type of Injury/psychiatric harmSeverityJudicial College Guidelines (JCG) Estimated General Damage AwardsNotes
Psychiatric/psychological injury/harm caused by a data breachSevere£51,460 to £108,620Poor prognosis. Claimants symptoms could be permanent. Vulnerability, anxiety and anguish prevents claimants from working or living a normal life
Psychiatric/psychological injury/harm caused by a data breachModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460Claimants similar symptoms as those above but with a better prognosis
Psychiatric/psychological injury/harm caused by a data breachModerate£5,500 to £17,900 Claimants suffer the same symptoms as above, but the prognosis so much better. An improvement can be seen earlier as time passes
Psychiatric/psychological injury/harm caused by a data breachLess SevereUp to £5,500Mild symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression that resolve in full within a short period
PTSD - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by data breachSevere£56,180 to £94,470PTSD seriously impacts a claimant's ability to work and lead a normal life as they did prior to being the victim of
of a data breach

If you would like to speak to an adviser about how much your data breach claim against Swansea University might be worth, please call the number at the top of the page.

Steps To Take When Claiming For A Breach In Data Privacy

You could represent yourself but you may find the parties liable or their insurers argue your claim. An experienced data breach solicitor has the necessary legal expertise to negotiate all the hurdles that could be in the way.

There are other advantages to having a solicitor act on your behalf, such as:

  • A solicitor will handle all aspects of your data breach claim from the outset
  • Should your case go to court, you will have the total support of the solicitor throughout the case

Our lawyers have years of experience when it comes to handling all types of claims. We have the legal know-how to negotiate fair and acceptable compensation payouts for the people we represent.

In addition, we provide all claimants who contact us with a free, initial consultation. You would be under no obligation to continue with a data breach claim if you choose not to. That said, this first contact allows you to ask questions about your case and for an adviser to assess whether you have grounds to sue.

To find out how Legal Expert can be of assistance in making a data breach claim against Swansea University, please speak to an adviser today.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Swansea University

During your initial consultation, one of our advisers will assess whether you have grounds to sue for data breach compensation. Once we have established that you have a strong case against Swansea University, a No Win No Fee solicitor from our expert team would agree to act on your behalf.

As well as no upfront fees or ongoing fees, you will not have to pay the solicitor if you do not win your claim. Additionally, there would be no other legal costs to pay either.

You only pay for their legal services when you receive a compensation payout. The amount payable to a No Win No Fee solicitor is a small percentage of the compensation you receive which is referred to as a ‘success fee’. It is capped by law.

For free legal advice on whether a No Win No Fee lawyer could take on your data breach claim against Swansea University, please call a member of the Legal Expert team today.

Talk To Our Specialist Team

To start your data breach claim against Swansea University or to benefit from more free legal advice, please speak to a member of the Legal Expert team today. You can contact an adviser in  the following ways:

Supporting Resources

No Win No Fee personal injury claims guide:

The No Win No Fee Process

Crown Prosecution Service Data breach claim guide:

A Guide to Crown Prosecution Service Data Breach Compensation 

NHS data breach claims guide:

Guide to NHS Data Breach Claims

Data Protection Law and your rights:

The Data Protection Act

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) complaints guide:

Make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

Thank you for reading our guide to pursuing a data breach claim against Swansea University.

Guide by Wood

Edited by Billing

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