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Telford & Wrekin Council Data Breach Claims

To prevent a Telford & Wrekin Council data breach from happening it is vital that organisations that process personal data apply UK General Data Protection Regulation GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. We all share personal data with our local authority, and this data should be safeguarded. In this guide, we are going to examine the concept of a data breach as well as look at what you can do if your data has been leaked. Within this guide will be the criteria that need to be met for a data breach victim to be able to make a compensation claim.

Telford & Wrekin council data breach claims guide

Telford & Wrekin council data breach claims guide

Your claim will be based on its own specific circumstances. And whilst it may share similarities with other data breach claims, it won’t be identical. Therefore, we may not have answered every question you have in this guide. We can’t cover every possible combination of causes of a data breach, and reasons to claim compensation. However, we have made our claims team available on 0800 073 8804 to answer your questions. This line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Call when is convenient to you, to get free legal help and advice related to a data breach claim.

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A Guide About Claims Should A Telford And Wrekin Council Data Breach Occur

Telford & Wrekin Council data protection and security protocols will set policies for protecting the data they store about you. An organisation that stores data on individuals is known as a data controller and a data subject is the entity the information is about.

Some background information starts this guide off. And this includes a graph that shows common reasons why data breaches in local government happen. This is followed by a general overview of what a data breach claim is. We have also covered the types of data that need to be protected, and the laws which enforce this need.

Next, we look at the legal obligations of the council in relation to protecting your personal and special data. We support this section with a number of examples of scenarios that could lead to a data breach. We follow this with a brief overview of the data breach reporting, complaints and claims process.

Financial information comes next. You will learn about the reasons why you might claim damages. You will also find an example compensation table. Additionally, the way a No Win No Fee agreement is structured has been discussed.

Lastly, we give some basic advice on how to start a claim. We then close this guide with some reference links and a FAQ section.

Time Limits To Make A Claim

There will be a deadline within which you will need to begin your claim for a data breach. The circumstances leading to the claim will have an impact on this time limit.

In general, the deadline for bringing a data breach claim is six years. However, for public bodies, a claim must begin within 1 year.

There are other factors that can have an impact upon the applicable claim deadline though. You can call and explain the facts of your claim to an advisor. They will then tell you exactly which claim deadline will apply.

Statistics On Data Breaches In The UK

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for overseeing all of the rules and regulations related to data security and privacy in the UK. Later in this guide, we will expand on what the ICO is. But for now, we are interested in some of the data related to data breaches that the ICO makes available. We have used this data to create the graph below. It shows what some of the common drivers of non-cyber data incidents are in local government.

Gov. Local Security Incident

Gov. Local Security Incident

What Could Be Telford & Wrekin Council Data Breach?

As you will learn in the sections below, there are laws in the UK that protect certain types of data. These laws apply to your local authority. Therefore, your data has to be protected by the council. It must comply with all relevant laws related to data security, privacy and protection. Throughout this guide we shall supply you with information on steps that can be taken should a Telford & Wrekin Council data breach occur. As we go through the guide if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to call.

A data breach could leave your data exposed to unlawful use or access by a third party that does not have permission to have it. And this, in turn, can lead to financial losses and potentially mental hardship. As a result, you could have a valid basis to make a compensation claim. However, you must be able to prove that the data controller failed in its legal obligation to protect your data in some way. Otherwise, your claim would likely not be valid.

What Data Is Covered?

What data is exempt from GDPR? To answer this question, it is simplest to explain what sensitive personal data is protected under UK law. Provision is made for safeguarding two categories of data. These are explained below.

  • Personal data is all of the information that is directly tied to you as an individual. And thus, can be used to identify you or gain access to resources such as financial accounts. Examples might include your name and date of birth, telephone number, bank and credit card numbers, email addresses, etc. Furthermore, medical records and other forms of Personal Medical Information (PMI) might be considered personal data.
  • Special data is all of the information that can provide facts about you, but may not identify you or be specific to you. Examples could be your race and religion, political affiliation, trade union membership, genome data, etc.

What Laws Apply?

The European Union (EU) follows the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). As did the UK prior to Brexit. However, since Brexit, the UK now relies on local laws to enforce data security and privacy. Including the UK GDPR and associated legislation such as the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).

What Local Authority Data Is Exempt From The UK GDPR?

To prevent a Telford & Wrekin Council data breach certain policies and procedures need to be in place to protect your personal data. The local authority must act on UK GDPR and ensure all relevant steps are taken to safeguard your data. This is done by following the seven core competencies of UK GDPR, which are explained below.

  • Data must be kept accurate.
  • The local authority must act lawfully when undertaking data-driven actions. And with transparency and fairness.
  • All personal and special category data must be stored and processed in confidence.
  • Data should only be stored for a limited amount of time.
  • The volume of data stored should be limited to only data that is vital to council operations.
  • The council must take responsibility for safeguarding your data.
  • Your data should be purpose limited.

Types Of Data Breach In The Public Sector

A data protection breach can be caused by nothing more sinister than an innocent human error. But some data breaches are more malevolent, and can result in your personal data being used for fraudulent purposes. Below are some example scenarios that could be classified as data breaches.

  • Recorded information in physical documents containing personal data is left on a train.
  • Information held by an organisation is accessed by an employee for personal reasons.
  • An email with personal data is sent to the wrong email address.
  • A security system is exploited through its vulnerabilities by cyber hackers and information is stolen.
  • A laptop that is not encrypted is lost containing vitally important financial information pertaining to a data subject.

It may not always be easy to spot a data breach. If an organisation has suffered a breach of data security, then if it affects your freedoms and rights you should be informed about it.

Breach Of Social Housing Tenants Data Privacy

People who live and occupy social housing will have a lot of information stored about them within council files. This body of data is added to every time you pay rent, for example. Some of the ways this data could potentially be breached are shown below.

  • Physical tenancy documents, or digital copies and scans of tenancy audit documents, are shared with a third party that is not authorised to have them.
  • A data breach over rent statements could occur, if details of your rent payments are sent to the wrong recipient.
  • Lax cybersecurity leads to a data breach. As a result, a cybercriminal uses your data to steal your digital identity.

To find out if you have a valid data breach claim why not call our advisors for free legal advice. They will go over any evidence that you can supply and assess the merits of your case. This can all be done in a no-obligation chat.

How To Make A UK GDPR Breach Notification To The ICO

What do I do if I suspect a Telford & Wrekin Council data breach? Initially, you can contact the local council and make enquiries about whether a data breach has occurred. The data breach officer can inform you whether a breach of data has occurred and if so what data has been leaked.

Next, you can consider making a report to the ICO. As part of its remit, when you make a breach of GDPR notification to ICO they may investigate the situation. If a problem is found, the ICO can take punitive action against the liable party. However, unless the last meaningful communication you had about the breach happened in the last three months, the ICO will likely not investigate your complaint.

Should a Telford & Wrekin Council data breach ever arise this would not automatically mean that the council would be liable for the leak. If the data controller has taken all the necessary steps to protect your personal information then a claim is very unlikely. The onus is on you to prove with evidence that your data what not sufficiently protected.  

How Do I Check My Eligibility To Claim?

Whether or not you took the actions outlined in the previous section, you could still go on to make a data breach claim if;

  1. You have suffered some form of financial loss and/or mental trauma.
  2. You can prove that the data controller failed to take all proper actions to make sure your data remained safe.

In such cases, we can help you to make a claim. Please call and speak to one of our expert advisors. Explain what has happened to them, and they will tell you what your legal options are. If appropriate, they will likely offer to arrange for one of our solicitors to begin working on your claim. Additionally, you will likely not have to pay the solicitor until the claim has been won.

What Damages Could I Have The Right To Claim?

There are potentially two sources of damages if you have become the victim of a data breach. The first of these, is to compensate you for any mental trauma, stress, or psychological harm caused by dealing with the data breach. You don’t necessarily have to have suffered a financial loss to claim for mental harm after a data breach. The precedent for this was set as a result of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc, which was heard in the Court of Appeal in 2015.

The second source of damages would be a financial loss. As a result of a severe data breach, a criminal may have used your digital identity in fraudulent ways. To access your bank balance, make purchases using your cards, and take out new loans, for example. Additionally, there will be a financial overhead for making the claim. Costs such as phone calls, postage, courier services, etc. That you will need to pay for yourself. In both cases, this monetary loss could be recouped if you make a successful claim.

How Would Telford & Wrekin Council Data Breach Payouts Be Calculated?

Claims are all based on their own unique attributes. Therefore, we can’t give you an average compensation amount that you might win for a data breach. What we can do though, is give you the table below that shows example ranges of damages. We used the guidelines produced by the Judicial College to make this table. Alternatively, you may like to try giving our compensation calculator a go. Please note these tables only look at the non-material damages part of your claim they do not take into account any financial loss. For that reason please only use these figures as examples.

Level of Harm Mental Condition Likely Compensation Additional Info
Moderately severe Psychiatric harm £17,900 – £51,460 An overall bracket encapsulating moderately severe mental damage. An event that was highly traumatic likely caused this damage. You would very likely suffer a severely compromised quality of life due to the symptoms. Even after treatment, there would most likely be some ongoing mental health problems.
Less severe Psychiatric harm Up to £5,500 An overall bracket encapsulating less severe mental damage. An event that was somewhat traumatic likely caused this damage. You would probably suffer a moderately compromised quality of life due to the symptoms. Even after treatment, there could be some trivial ongoing mental health problems.
Severe Psychiatric harm £51,460 – £108,620 An overall bracket encapsulating severe mental damage. Repeated exposure to events that were traumatic likely caused this damage. You would very likely suffer a critically compromised quality of life due to the symptoms. Even after treatment, there would most likely be some quite serious ongoing mental health problems.

No Win No Fee Solicitors For A Telford & Wrekin Council Data Breach

You may have come across the phrase No Win No Fee before, and have a rough idea of what it means. But you may not be aware that the same kind of agreements can be used to fund the services of a solicitor should you want to make a claim for a Telford & Wrekin Council data breach.

You would not need to pay a solicitor to pick your claim up and begin working on it. You also don’t pay lawyer fees across the lifecycle of the claim. Additionally, a lost claim means the solicitor won’t ask to be paid a fee.

A won claim though, would see you likely having to pay the solicitor a success fee. The amount of this fee is limited by law. You can call and speak to one of our advisors for a fuller description of how such a fee works. You can use the contact details at the end of this page to get in touch with us.

How To Begin A Claim For Damages

Should a Telford & Wrekin Council data breach occur, we can help. Just take the three quick and easy steps below to get free legal advice.

  1. Call our claims team and explain your situation. You will have all of your questions answered at this stage.
  2. An advisor will talk over your claim with you, and evaluate it.
  3. An expert claims lawyer will then begin processing a claim if it is valid.

Request A Call Back From Our Team

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on your rights if a Telford & Wrekin Council data breach occurred. Why not call our advisors today for some free advice and have your case assessed. Use the contact details below to get in touch. You have nothing to lose, as you won’t need to pay the lawyer unless you win your claim. Call today, any time of the day or night as our claims line is open 24 hours a day.

Telephone: 0800 073 8804

Use our webchat or fill in a contact request.

Similar Articles

You might like to look over these other websites, that have some related info.

How To Find Out What Data Of Yours Is Stored

Data Breach Reporting Process

Also, we have published similar guides that could be of use to you, just follow these links to read them.

FAQs On Council Data Breaches

You may have questions about making a data breach claim. Here we answer some common ones.

What constitutes a breach of data protection?

When your personal or special data is exposed to unlawful access or use.

Who’s responsible for protecting data in the Council?

A data controller may have a team that deals with UK GDPR compliance that is responsible for all aspects of data security and privacy.

Can you get compensation for a data protection breach?

This depends on whether your case meets specific criteria.

What is the penalty for breaching data protection?

The ICO might make an entry in the data breach register and maybe a fine after a data breach

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on your rights if a Telford & Wrekin Council data breach occurred. Why not call our advisors today for some free advice and have your case assessed.

Guide By Wheeler

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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