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Trafford Council Data Breach Claims Guide

If you live in the area of Trafford you may have supplied some of your personal data to the local council. Information supplied will be safeguarded by Trafford Council data protection protocols. However, what could happen if a Trafford Council data breach took place? This guide focuses on making a compensation claim for mental harm or financial loss because of such a data breach.

Trafford Council data breach claims guide

Trafford Council data breach claims guide

We need to make it clear that we might not have answered every single one of your questions in this guide. This is because your claim will be at least partially unique. Even though it might share some similarities with other data breach claims. Therefore, we have made our claims line available day and night, every day of the week. You can call 0800 073 8804 and speak to one of our claim advisors. They will be able to answer any additional questions that you have.

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A Guide To Dealing With A Trafford Council Data Breach

Should a Trafford Council data breach occur that exposed your personal data would you know what steps to take to get the answers you need? This guide shall answer the important questions you have. Moreover, this guide will also act as a primer to how data breaches could happen, and also the damage that one can cause you.

Initially, we start this guide off by providing you with a graph that demonstrates data security incidents in local government for noncyber issues. You will also find in this first part of the guide a general explanation of what a data breach claim is. Furthermore, you will find that we have explained UK data protection laws that apply, in addition to outlining the types of information that have to be protected.

The guide then moves on to look at how a local authority must comply with all applicable rules and regulations related to data security and privacy in the UK. We have provided some example scenarios, showing how a failure in compliance has the potential to result in a data breach.

Then we look at the process of dealing with a suspected data breach. Specifically, information about contacting the council and issuing a complaint to the ICO. Furthermore, we give some advice on when and how to move on to the claims process.

Financial information is given in the next part of the guide. Explicitly, a discussion of the reasons why you might need to claim damages, alongside an example compensation table. Furthermore, you will learn about how the fee structure of a No Win No fee claim works.

The closing sections of this guide will provide you with additional general information about getting a claim started. The final sections provide some useful reference links and a number of questions and answers.

Deadlines For Claiming

Something to keep in mind is that there will be a deadline that you must start your data breach claim within. As long as you start the claim within this time limit, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to process.

The general deadline for data breach claims is six years. However, a local authority is considered to be a public body. Therefore, this time limit is reduced to just one year to start a claim.

Furthermore, there can be external factors that can have an impact on the time limit. To find out exactly which deadline will apply based on your own circumstances, please call and talk to a claim advisor.

Cyber Security Statistics

There is an organisation known as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK. It is responsible for overseeing compliance with data security and privacy laws. As part of its responsibilities, it collects and publishes data related to data breaches. And some of this data is made available to the public. Using this information, we created the graph below. It shows statistics for the first quarter of the financial year 2021/22 looking at non-cyber security incidents in local government.

Non-cyber security issues local Gov.

Non-cyber security issues local Gov.

To hold a valid claim should a Trafford Council data breach occur that caused you to suffer a financial loss and mental harm the onus is on you to prove liability. Not all data breach incidents will mean a compensation claim is possible. To find out more and have your case assessed for free call our claims team today.

What Could Be A Trafford Council Data Breach?

Generally, local authorities have to comply with all relevant data security and privacy regulations. Data breaches can happen for different reasons some can be computer and online related while others can be in physical file form. A data breach is when personal information is involved in a security incident that means it is lost, stolen, altered or accessed without authority. This can be accidental, deliberate or unlawful.

In such a case, you might suffer trauma, stress or psychological injury. Additionally, the data breach could result in financial loss. You may be able to claim compensation for this. However, there is a caveat. You would need to be able to prove that the data controller, those who collect personal information, did not do everything required to safeguard your data.

Data Laws

There are a number of bodies of legislation that apply to data privacy and security in this country. There is the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) as well as all of the regulations that make up UK GDPR. Prior to Brexit the UK followed the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR). But this has now changed, and local laws apply.

Data To Be Protected

Not all data held by Trafford Council is intended to be protected under UK GDPR. There are two identifiable categories of data that must be safeguarded. These are personal and special data. Below, we explain these data categories.

Personal data is all of the information that can be used to identify you, or can be exploited directly in some way. For example, your name, address, date of birth, email and phone number are all personal data. Furthermore, things like your credit card information or bank details would need protection.

Special data is all derivative data. Facts about you that are not necessarily unique. For example, your religious beliefs or voting preference would be considered special data. Additionally specific information such as genome data or medical records for example. Also, things like trade union memberships might be considered special data.

Are Councils Subject To The UK GDPR?

Generally, all organisations that collect and handle personal data must abide by the UK GDPR.  The idea is that compliance will minimise the risk of a Trafford Council data breach happening. Part of compliance is adopting the seven pillars of UK GDPR. These we have covered below.

  • Being accountable
  • It is imperative that your personal and special data is always secure.
  • Whenever data is incorrect, it should be corrected.
  • Fair, transparent, and legal processing of data is essential.
  • The use of your data is limited
  • Data should be stored only as long as it is needed.
  • Purpose limitation.

Breaches Of Data Protection By Councils

To prevent a Trafford Council data breach from arising it is vital that the GDPR and DPA are followed and adhered to. For example, during 2020 a data leak occurred at Trafford Council that exposed local residents data. Specifically, their voting preference in relation to new wooden planters being installed in the area.

Data breaches can happen for many different reasons. The list of scenarios below looks at how a data breach exposing personal data could possibly happen;

  • Email data breach is the result of an unauthorised recipient being sent your personal data.
  • Old files or records that contain your data are disposed of without following regulatory requirements for doing so.
  • Paperwork that contains your personal data being left in a public place. For example, on a table at a coffee shop, where anyone can pick it up and read it.
  • Vulnerability in cybersecurity is exploited by a cybercriminal. Subsequently, your personal data is accessed and used for fraudulent purposes, such as identity theft.


Breaches Of Social Housing Tenants Data Privacy

Public housing tenants may have supplied a high volume of personal data to their local council. Information that could be stored includes, name, address, DOB, email address, photocopies of identification, along with bank details and so on.

Data that is personal has the potential to be breached in the following ways;

  • Digitally stored information, such as scans of tenancy audit documents, are left open on a computer monitor. Subsequently, anyone walking past can view them.
  • An employee discusses social care information about you or your family outside of work. Therefore, this could be deemed a data breach.
  • Rent statements were sent to the wrong address.
  • Laptops containing digital files of rent statements are lost and not password protected.

Spotting whether your data has been breached or not, may not always be clear. Very often if an organisation has suffered a data breach that affects your rights they will notify you about it. To have any data breach case assessed for free call our claims team today.

How To Report A Breach To The Information Commissioner

If you suspect a Trafford Council data breach, there are steps you can take. The first of these would be to submit a Subject Access Request (SAR) to a Trafford Council Data Protection Officer (DPO). However, there may not be a DPO available, some council’s don’t have one.  Fundamentally, you can ask whether a data breach has taken place. You may also be able to find out whether your data was affected, and how badly.

The second thing you can do is to contact the ICO and report the issues. The ICO is responsible for looking into complaints about potential data breaches. However, complaints will only be looked at if you had last meaningful contact with the data controller within the last 3 months.

How To Sue Local Authorities If They Breach Your Data Privacy

If the ICO were to agree with your complaint and take action against the data controller, this could reflect well on any subsequent, related claim.

Yet, fundamentally, your rights under give you the ability to make a claim regardless of any action the ICO does (or doesn’t) take. You can simply move straight on to the claims process if you wish. And this is where we can be of assistance. One of our expert advisors can arrange for a data breach claims lawyer to process your claim for you. Just give them a call to start the claims process.

What Could Your Payout Include Compensation For?

A successful claim for a data breach would result in two possible sources of damages. The first of which is for financial losses. If your personal data is used for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft, you could end up facing significant losses. For example, if your credit cards are used to make fraudulent purchases. Additionally, you may face costs during the claims process. For example, if you had to pay for a courier service to deliver documents to your solicitor.

The second source of damages would be any mental harm you suffered due to stress, trauma, depression. In 2015, a case was heard at the Court of Appeal. This case set the precedent for claiming mental harm despite no financial loss taking place. The case was Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. Because of the outcome of this claim, you could also try to do the same.

How Are Damages For A Trafford Council Data Breach Calculated?

Calculating the average compensation for a successful data breach claim is impossible. Basically, because each claim is unique in some way.

But you could be able to get a general idea of the value of your claim by using our compensation calculator.

As an alternative, you can get a rough estimate of how much compensation you might get, by using the table below.

We referred to the guidelines that are produced by the Judicial College (JC) to make this table. The figures come from a publication that solicitors and insurers may use to value suffering. No material losses such as financial loss are included in this table.

Level of Mental Damage Mental Issue Likely Damages More Data
Severe Psychiatric harm £51,460 – £108,620 A severe psychological injury is classified under this category. It is usually the result of multiple highly traumatic experiences. It almost certainly will have an adverse effect on your life. Some mental health issues may persist even after treatment.
Moderately severe Psychiatric harm £17,900 – £51,460 The psychological damage is moderately severe. A traumatic experience may have caused the psychological injury. Your quality of life would be moderately severely affected in such a case. Despite receiving therapy, your mental health would likely still be affected.
Less severe Psychiatric harm Up to £5,500 Psychological harm is classified as less severe in this classification. Psychological harm is typically caused by traumatic experiences. You might have a mildly diminished quality of life due to psychological problems. Quality of life will, however, return to normal with time.

No Win No Fee Claims For A Trafford Council Data Breach

If you have come across the term No Win No Fee in the past, you may have a good idea of its meaning. It is often featured in ads for personal injury claim lawyers. However, the same agreement could be applied when hiring a solicitor for a data breach claim.

There would be no need to pay your solicitor a retainer or upfront fee. Also, you don’t pay lawyer fees while the claim is being processed, or if the claim fails. But, if the claim is won, a modest success fee might be due. The upper limit of this fee is legally capped. Moreover, you would pay this fee out of the compensation that the lawyer was sent for you. And then the leftover compensation would be given to you.

Check If We Could Help You

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide about what to do should a Trafford Council data breach occur. Call and explain what has happened to you, and how you have been impacted by the data breach. An advisor will evaluate it and let you know whether it could be valid or not. If it is, you will be told about your legal options. It is likely the advisor will offer to arrange for a No Win No Fee solicitor to start working on your claim for you.

Talking To An Expert

Would you know what to do if a Trafford Council data breach took place? For free advice call our team any time of the day or night. Contact our claims team using the info below.

Telephone: 0800 073 8804

Use our webchat or fill in a contact request.

Related Articles

Other guides about data breaches can also be found here.

Furthermore, these other websites provide relevant information.

Data Breach Reporting Process at the ICO

Where Is Your Information Stored?


Here are some simple answers to common data breach claim-related questions.

Am I eligible to claim for a data breach?

This will depend on your circumstances. You can call and ask one of our advisors to evaluate your claim for you, to find out.

How much compensation can you get for a breach of GDPR?

Speak to our claims team, who can arrange a lawyer to value your claim for you accurately.

Do data protection breach claims go to court?

This depends on whether an amicable result can be reached or not.

How do I make a complaint about the data breach?

You can contact the ICO and make a complaint about a data breach.

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide about what to do should a Trafford Council data breach occur. For free advice call our team any time of the day or night.

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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