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Tamworth Borough Council Data Breach – Compensation Claims Guide

If a Tamworth Borough Council data breach transpired and your personal data had the potential to be breached would you know what your rights were? As you may be aware, the General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) came into effect through the Data Protection Act 2018. As the UK has now left the EU data controllers, those who use your personal data must comply with the UK version of the GDPR/ The laws were introduced so that individuals (or data subjects) could have better control over how their information is used. Data controllers must take steps to prevent your information from being accessed illegally.

Tamworth Borough council data breach claims guide

Tamworth Borough council data breach claims guide

We’ll explain how the data breach claims process works, what you could claim for and what level of compensation might be awarded. We will also discuss the role of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) when data breaches are identified. While they are able to issue financial penalties to organisations that break data protection laws, they won’t help you claim compensation. As a result, you might decide to start your own legal proceedings. Legal Expert is here to help if that’s what you decide to do.

Why not get in touch with our team if you believe you’re eligible to make a data breach claim? Once we’ve reviewed your case over the phone, we could appoint a specialist data breach lawyer to represent you. Importantly, they’ll remove a lot of stress by working for you on a No Win No Fee basis. To learn more, please call today on 0800 073 8804. To learn more about claiming for a data breach, please continue reading.

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A Guide On Claims For A Tamworth Borough Council Data Breach

There is no doubt that modern communication methods make a lot of processes much easier and faster. However, that convenience does come with some risks if important personal information isn’t sent securely. That is one of the main reasons why the new data protection laws were brought in.

Whenever you do anything these days, you are likely to be asked to tick a box or click a button to agree to share your data. The reason that happens is that data controllers must have a lawful basis to process personal data. Asking for permission before processing is one way that can be achieved.

There’s no doubt that local councils need personal data to help them operate efficiently. However, they must implement measures to help them meet their GDPR obligations and to keep personal data safe. If a data breach were to occur, a council must let the ICO know what happened and what they’ve done to rectify matters if it put data subjects rights and freedoms at risk.

If you do decide to claim, you’ll usually have 6-years to do so. Be aware, though, that claims that focus on human rights breaches have just 1-year to be made. If you’d like to check how long you have to claim or require any further information, please call once you have finished reading our guide.

Key Trends In Cyber Security

The government had reviewed data protection issues and provided a report on the latest trends. In the latest report, data breaches affecting businesses were down (but charity data breaches remained the same as the previous year). This may have something to do with reduced trading levels caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest report shows that:

  • 39% of businesses reported cyberattacks or security breaches.
  • 26% of charities were affected in the same way.
  • Medium businesses, large businesses and high-income charities were affected more than others.

What Could Be A Tamworth Borough Council Data Breach?

Before you know whether you could claim compensation, it’s important to define what a data breach is. Luckily, the GDPR documentation does this for us. It explains that when a security incident takes place with regards to personal information being unlawfully or accidentally altered, accessed, destroyed, lost or disclosed to unauthorised parties, a data breach will have occurred.

Importantly, you cannot seek compensation purely because a data breach took place. Instead, the onus is on the claimant to prove that those who had a responsibility to protect their personal data failed to keep it safe. Generally, claims are based on financial losses and psychological injuries such as stress, anxiety or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Whether a breach is caused by an illegal, deliberate or accidental action does not matter. You could be entitled to claim. That said, if a local council were to be attacked by hackers, you could only claim if the attack was possible because they had failed to protect your personal information with appropriate cyber security.

To find out whether you might be allowed to start a claim, please call our advice centre today.

Is The Borough Council Bound By GDPR?

The GDPR applies to any company, charity or organisation that processes personal information about UK residents. Therefore, it applies to local authorities including Tamworth Borough Council. Before any data is processed, the council should check there is a lawful basis to do so. This is can be obtained in various ways including:

  • If you’ve been told about why your data is needed and agreed to its use, a lawful basis is established.
  • Legal obligation. Some sharing of data is a legal requirement. For example, details of wages you are paid must be shared with HMRC.
  • You could consent to your data being used as part of a contract you have with the council i.e. your rent agreement.
  • Vital interests. Importantly, the council could share personal information without your consent if a risk to life is identified.
  • Public task. Data may be shared if there is a public interest and a lawful basis.
  • Legitimate interests. The last legal basis for sharing is the most flexible.

Whichever basis is used, only the minimal amount of data possible should be used. This is to reduce the risk of vast amounts of data being passed around unnecessarily. Furthermore, data controllers must consider if there is another way to achieve their outcome without handling personal data.

Types Of Breaches In Data Protection Privacy

It would be impossible to list each and every scenario where data breaches could happen. However, in this section, we have listed some examples to give you an idea of what may be considered a breach of data. The examples include:

  • Where a member of council staff looks up your personal details (home address, telephone number etc) without any business need.
  • If a council officer is overheard talking about your rent arrears within earshot of members of the public.
  • Where a USB memory stick or physical documentation containing details about data subjects is left on a train and found by an unauthorised person.
  • If a letter that was intended for you ends up being sent to the wrong recipient.
  • Where a council decides to share its housing data with other organisations but fails to anonymise it.

If Tamworth Borough Council’s data protection officer is made aware of a data security breach, they need to let the ICO know about it within 72-hours, if it puts the data subject at risk. Without undue delay, they must tell any data subjects that might be at risk about the breach.

Breaches In Social Work And Housing Department Data Security

There are many reasons why a council may hold data about you. They include:

  • Social care records. The council is responsible for social care so may hold information about those in care homes or those being helped by the safeguarding team.
  • Identification documents. Information from your passport, driving licence or other identification may be scanned and stored when you apply to join the housing register.
  • Tenancy agreements. These are likely to contain details about you as well as the property that you rent from the council.
  • Rent statements. These could contain information about you and your payment history to the council.

We’ve also added some examples, below, of how data breaches could happen using the information listed above:

  • Lost documentation. Where documentation like your tenancy agreement is misplaced and found by an unauthorised party.
  • Failing to redact information. Where unredacted information about you is shared in a pack sent to potential landlords.
  • Sending your details to somebody else. You may be affected if information about your social care or rental application is sent to the wrong address.

We understand how complex it can be to understand if you have a valid claim. That’s why we offer a no-obligation review of your case and provide free legal advice. Please call our advice centre today if you have any questions.

Who Do You Report A Data Breach To?

If a Tamworth Borough Council data breach occurred, you might decide to contact the ICO and request that they take a look. However, before you do, you could raise a formal complaint first. This will be to the council in the first instance. If you do not agree with their response, you’ll have an escalation path you can follow. Once you have exhausted all of your options, you could speak to the ICO once 3-months have passed since you had any meaningful communication about your complaint.

The ICO may decide to investigate the data breach but it is important to note that they don’t get involved in data breach compensation claims. For that reason, you may wish to call us to take action yourself. If the ICO have been involved, though, their report could prove vital evidence to help prove what happened.

Explaining How The Claims Process Works

If a data breach at Tamworth Borough Council took place would you know more now about what rights you have? Our opinion is that although a solicitor is not required by law that you seek legal representation. Data breach solicitors will not only have experience, capabilities and knowledge of the claims process but they can take much of the work needed off your hands.

By calling our helpline, your case will be reviewed for free and you’ll be given free legal advice on your options. If the data breach solicitor takes your case on, they’ll decide with you whether or not you need to go down the route of involving the ICO. In many cases, this isn’t necessary and your claim might be resolved amicably directly with the defendant’s legal team.

To begin a data breach claim today, why not contact our advice centre now?

How Will My Damages Be Valued?

Claims for data breaches are usually split into two distinct parts:

  • Material damages – where you claim for any money you’ve lost or expenses you’ve incurred because of the breach.
  • Non-material damages – where your claim is for any psychological injuries caused by the GDPR breach.

For example, if your personal details have been used in an identity theft crime, you might need to claim material damages to have any money you have lost returned. Similarly, non-material damages might need to be requested because you have suffered from anxiety in the months following the data breach.

What’s important, though, is that your claim takes into account any future suffering. That’s because, when you agree to settle a claim, you can’t ask for more compensation later. Therefore, you may need a medical review to look at the extent of your suffering and whether it’ll continue in the future.

Your solicitor will arrange a local appointment with an independent medical specialist. They’ll use your medical records and ask questions to determine a prognosis. They’ll then write a report to record their findings.

Our advice is to start your claim as soon as possible. By doing so, you’ll allow your solicitor plenty of time to work out what should be included in your claim. They will also have plenty of time to gather evidence to back up your allegations. If one of our specialist data breach lawyers takes your case on, they’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. If you’d like to know if you could make a data breach claim, why not call our team today?

Estimating Damages For A Tamworth Borough Council Data Breach

Let’s now look at potential compensation amounts. Before we do, we should refer to a case at the Court of Appeal where the judge said that whether or not a claimant has lost money following a data breach, compensation should be considered for any psychological injuries.

Therefore, we have used figures from the Judicial College Guidelines in our table below as it is used when settling personal injury cases.

Injury TypeSettlement BracketDetails
General Psychiatric DamageUp to £108,620The claimant will have significant problems, causing serious problems in their ability to deal with all aspects of life. Very poor prognosis.
Up to £51,460Similar problems to the above will exist and the claimant will struggle to deal with work and education.
Up to £17,900With professional help, the claimant's condition should improve. There will be a serious impact on their life initially, though.
PTSDUp to £94,470Permanent PTSD symptoms and all aspects of life will be severely affected.
Up to £56,180In the immediate future, symptoms will be as serious as above. However, support from professionals should imporve symptoms somewhat.

For a free review of your case and a more personalised compensation estimate, please call our team today.

Tamworth Borough Council Data Breach – No Win No Fee Claims Cases

We know from experience that the thought of losing money on solicitor’s fees can be off-putting. As a result, our solicitors provide a No Win No Fee service for any claims they work on. This means that if your case is accepted, you won’t have to pay for your solicitor’s work unless you receive compensation.

The agreement that funds such cases is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). It shows you what your solicitor needs to do before you have to pay them. Within the CFA, you’ll find a success fee listed. This is a percentage of your compensation (that’s legally capped) that is deducted from your settlement if your case is won.

To learn more about the No Win No Fee service and to see if your case is suitable, why not call our advice centre today?

How Do I Choose Who Will Handle My Claim?

You might think that the easiest thing to do if you’re thinking of claiming is to look for a law firm in Tamworth. However, before you do, why not call our team? There’s nothing to lose our advice is free and you might find a solicitor with vast experience of data breach claims. Also, our service is as efficient as possible because we deal with everything over the phone, by email and online so you don’t need to waste time travelling to our offices.

Why not take a look at our reviews to see what some of our previous clients have said?

Talk To Our Team For Free

If you would like to talk to us about making a claim for a local authority data breach, there are several ways to contact us. You can:

Remember, you’ll get free advice on your options after we’ve provided a no-obligation review of your case.

Finding Similar Guides

Here are some further links and resources that might come in handy if you’re thinking of claiming:

Requesting Your Data – Advice on how to make a subject access request.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – An NHS article on the causes, symptoms and treatments for PTSD.

Freedom Of Information Requests – Information on how to make an FOI request from a public authority.

Credit Card Data Breaches – Details on what to do if a breach involving a credit card company has affected you.

Medical Records Data Breaches – This guide shows when you could claim if data from your medical records are exposed by a leak.

Data Breach Frequently Asked Questions

We are nearly at the end of our article on claiming if a data breach at Tamworth Borough Council arose. Therefore, we have added some FAQs relating to the GDPR which might be useful during your claim.

Is there a charge for making a subject access request?

Since the introduction of the GDPR, organisations cannot generally charge you if you request a subject access request. Some admin costs may be passed on if your request is excessive or if you ask for additional copies of your data.

What is the processing of personal data?

In terms of the GDPR, data processing means any operation or function that uses personal data. This may be automated or manual and can include recording, collecting, storing, changing, dissemination or structuring amongst other things.

What is a Subject Access Request?

If you would like a copy of the information a company holds about you, then you can make a subject access request. There should be no charge and you should receive the data in a secure manner.

Thanks for visiting today and reading about what steps you could take should a Tamworth Borough Council data breach take place.

Guide By Hambridge

Edited By Melissa.

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