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

By Max Micovic. Last Updated 29th April 2022. If you have been made to suffer due to a university data breach, then you might question whether you could take legal action? Here at Legal Expert, we completely understand that the data breach compensation claims process can often appear daunting and confusing, especially to those with limited legal knowledge. After all, it is fair to assume that nobody anticipates or prepares for the day they require legal representation.

University data breach claims guide

University data breach claims guide

Throughout this online guide, we aim to provide you with free advice concerning the claims process. In doing so, we will answer crucial questions and provide you with impartial advice regarding university data breaches. We will discuss what data breaches are, how they are caused, what impact they can have, and most importantly, what steps you could consider when seeking compensation.

Nobody should ever be made to suffer from a university data breach, and with the support of a solicitor, you don’t have to. Once you have read this guide to the very end, you will have been provided with the information you need to have a greater perception of the claims process. You will also understand how one of our solicitors could offer to take on your case although having a solicitor is not a necessity. Should you have any questions or concerns while reading this guide, please do not hesitate from contacting our team. Our claims team are well versed in the law, which means they can provide you with free legal advice of no obligation.

To take advantage of the free legal advice our team can provide, call us on 0800 073 8804.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To University Data Breach Compensation Claims
  2. What Is A University Data Breach?
  3. The GDPR & Universities
  4. Examples Of Universities Affected By Cyber Attacks And Data Breaches 
  5. Statistics On University Data Breaches
  6. What Data Breach Victims Could Be Compensated For
  7. University Data Breach Compensation Calculator 
  8. How To Find A Data Breach Solicitor And Start A Claim
  9. No Win No Fee University Data Breach Compensation Claims
  10. Speak To A Data Breach Claim Expert
  11. Data Breach Claim Resources

 A Guide To University Data Breach Compensation Claims

We live in an incredibly tech-savvy society, and in return, our personal data is often used to extend our experience with technology. For instance, whenever we purchase a coffee from our local store with a bank card, subscribe to a new online service, or even when we sign up and attend university, our personal data is used and stored by these businesses.

Our personal data is extremely valuable. To ensure it is kept safe, there are regulations businesses must meet. For instance, it is outlined by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enacted into UK law by the Data Protection Act 2018, that all parties that use and store data must adhere to data protection law. So what does this mean? Essentially, there are multiple measures, policies and regulations outlined in data protection law that businesses must follow. Therefore throughout this guide, we will look at them in greater length. We will also address what would happen if a business were to neglect these duties resulting in a data breach.

University Data Breach Guide

Throughout this online guide,  we are going to supply you with free and impartial advice. In doing so, we will cover a wide range of topics concerning the claims process, such as:

  • What is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)?
  • How do I make a claim with a solicitor?
  • Could a solicitor offer to take on my cause under a No Win No Fee agreement?
  • Do I need to report a data breach to the ICO?
  • What is a data breach ICO?
  • What happens if GDPR is breached?
  • Which three principles would affect any data breach?

Once you have read this guide to the very end, you will have the answers to the questions listed above. Plus many others. Please take into consideration that the claims process and the circumstances that could be a contributing factor are never-ending. Therefore, it is incredibly challenging to outline every aspect of the claims process in one guide. So if your circumstances have not been addressed in this guide, please do not worry. All you have to do is contact our team and speak to one of our advisers.

By speaking to one of our advisers, you can discuss your case in greater length. They can answer your questions, provide advice, and they can also connect you with a solicitor if they believe your case has validity. If you’d like to speak to one of our advisers, press the live chat button in the right-hand corner. Or call us on the number at the top of the page.

Time limit

Every compensation claim must meet a certain level of criteria. For instance, a prime example of criteria that must be met is a limitation period.

Data breach claims must be made within a 6-year time frame. However, please note that if a university data breach has compromised your human rights, the time limit will differ. You would have 1-year to begin your claim. While this may sound like plenty of time, it is vital to provide your solicitor with enough time to build your case and collect the required evidence.

Should you fail to begin your case within the designated time frame, then your case’s eligibility could be affected. Therefore, if you doubt whether your case meets the criteria listed above, please speak to one of our advisers. Our claims team would be more than happy to talk with you.

What Is A University Data Breach?

In short, a data breach is when your personal information is stolen, lost, misused, or exposed without consent. If a data breach were to occur, it has the potential to cause various types of trauma and damage, as it could cause psychological trauma and financial loss.

To prevent data breaches from occurring, some measures can be taken. For instance, we previously touched upon the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. Both have installed incredible groundwork in terms of data protection for businesses to abide by. But despite the laws and practices that have been implemented to promote data protection, unfortunately, there are circumstances where breaches could occur.

In the unfortunate event, a university data breach was to occur, it could expose, leak, or share the following types of personal data:

  • Mobile number
  • Home address
  • Online activity
  • Date of birth
  • Banking information
  • Usernames
  • Passwords
  • Email address

Not only could a university data breach compromise the security of its students’ information, but it could also affect the university’s staff and their data. Although they are an education service, universities also operate as employers, and it is their duty as an employer to keep their employee’s private information confidential. However, if a breach were to happen, then employee information could be compromised.

Regardless of whether you are a student or an employee of a university, if you have been affected by a data breach, you could have grounds to make a claim.

The GDPR & Universities

Due to the way our data is used, there have been laws and regulations set in the palace to promote data protection measures. For example, we previously touched upon the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how it significantly impact data protection.

Ever since the introduction of the GDPR, businesses have been held to a higher standard when it comes to data protection. Initially, the GDPR was enacted into UK law by the Data Protection Act, which in return created rules, policies, and standards in which businesses must meet. Naturally, you may question what role the GDPR plays concerning data protection.

Obligations that must be met;

  • The data subject must be fully informed of how and why their data is being used and stored.
  • Data controllers are required to be compliant with laws and regulations.
  • All personal information must be stored safely and securely — and these measures must meet the required standards.

Now that you have read some of the roles and responsibilities, we hope you have a clearer understanding. While the GDPR and data protection laws do a great job in establishing what measures must be taken, unfortunately, data breaches still occur.

If you believe you have been affected by a data breach, then please feel free to contact our team. One of our advisers would be happy to chat with you and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.

Statistics On University Data Breaches

It was outlined in a recent survey that 54% of UK-based universities had reported data breaches to the ICO. It was also outlined that 86 universities responded to a Freedom of Information request out of 134.

The study also mentioned that 46% of university members of staff hadn’t been provided with awareness training. Redscan also found a similar lack of training in students, with only a further 37% being supplied with support on request. For instance, take a look at a fine issued by the ICO against the University of Greenwich.

The university was issued with a £120,000 fine following a serious data breach. The incident in question involved the data of almost 20,000 people — including students and members of staff.

The ICO investigation centred around the microsite developed by an academic and a student in the University’s Computer and Mathematics School. After the event had ended,  it wasn’t shut down subsequently and was compromised. This allowed multiple attackers to exploit the vulnerabilities of the website and access private information.

Cyber Security And Criminal Data Theft Attacks Against Universities

When we discuss data breaches, it is essential to highlight that there are various ways a breach can be caused. Naturally, there are technical implications, such as cyber-attacks, malware, ransomware, and technological glitches that could cause a violation to occur. However, there are also physical implications that could be a contributing factor. For example, a data breach could be caused by:

  • An employee sending an email, including personal data to the wrong participant.
  • If a letter containing personal information is sent to the wrong household.
  • An unauthorised person could access information if a computer or office is left unattended.

In order for a solicitor to take on your case, you will be required to provide evidence to support your claim. In the sections that follow, we are going to look at evidence collection in greater detail. Outlining the various types of evidence, you can provide to support your case, what steps you could consider, and most importantly, how a solicitor can assist you throughout the claims process.

What Data Breach Victims Could Be Compensated For

A university data breach can have a serious impact on you and your life. You may consider seeking compensation for any damages you’ve experienced. If that is the case, then it is important to acknowledge that compensation can be split into two separate categories, which are known as:

  • Non-material damages — damages of this nature are often awarded to those that endure psychological trauma.
  • Material damages — damages of this nature are typically awarded to those who endure a financial loss.

We have previously touched upon the importance of evidence and how you will be required to provide evidence to support your University data breach claim. In this section, we will outline some types of evidence you can acquire to support your case.

If you have psychologically suffered due to a university data breach, you will be required to attend a medical assessment to support your case. Upon attending, the professional conducting the medical evaluation will ask you a series of questions concerning the injury. In addition to asking questions, they will also evaluate the severity of the trauma and determine whether there are future implications to take into consideration.

All of the information that is collected from the medical assessment will be placed in a report that can then be used to value and support your case. Here at Legal Expert, we can help you set up a medical assessment with an impartial professional. We always try to organise the evaluation as close to your home as possible.

University Data Breach Compensation Calculator

Naturally, we receive a lot of questions in relation to the claims process, more specifically, in regards to compensation. Understandably, if you have been affected by a university data breach, you may question how much compensation you could be awarded?

Thanks to the Court of Appeal case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], it is now possible to seek compensation for psychological traumas — even if you haven’t experienced financial harm. The case further established that the compensation awarded for psychological trauma would be valued and in accordance with personal injury law.

We must echo that every personal injury claim is unique to the circumstances at hand. This can ultimately affect the amount of compensation that is awarded. The case will take into account the injury type, severity, and long-term implications. To create a more straightforward illustration, we have provided a table that outlines information provided by the Judicial College Guidelines.

Compensation Amounts

Injury TypeSeverity AmountNotes
PTSDLess Severe£3,710 to £7,680PTSD of this nature would be expected to make a great recovery within a 2-year timeframe. However, some complications could last longer than 2-years.
PTSDModerately Severe£21,730 to £56,180With the support of a medical professional, PTSD of this nature would make a great recovery. However there would be some implications that remain.
PTSD Severe£56,180 to £94,470Severe PTSD would have a life-altering affect on the individual - impacting their professional and social life. A pre-trauma state would be out of the question.
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460Within this bracket, expect cases involving psychiatric injury following a negligent stillbirth or a traumatic birth of a child and cases of work-related stress resulting in a permanent or long-standing disability preventing a return to comparable employment.
Psychiatric Damage GenerallySevere£51,460 to £108,620Within this bracket, it would take into account the injured person's ability to cope with life, education, and work;
the effect on the injured person's relationships with family, friends, and those with whom he or she comes into contact.

In the table provided above, it looks at how much compensation you could be awarded for any psychological trauma you’ve endured. However, if you have been affected by a financial loss due to a university data breach, then those losses could be factored into your case.

You would be required to provide evidence of financial loss. Receipts and bank statements could be used as evidence.

If you would like to gain a more precise estimated figure relating to your case, then please reach out and speak to one of our advisers. Our claims team are well versed in personal injury law. Therefore, they could provide an estimated compensation figure more precisely and answer any queries you may have.

How to use a data breach compensation calculator

There are many ways you can get an estimate of how much your data breach settlement could be worth following a successful claim.

For example, you could seek a quote for compensation for a data breach online which is something we can help with. Our data breach compensation calculator can provide you with an estimate that is tailored more to your specific case. If, for example, you’ve suffered from stress or anxiety caused by a data breach at a university, our calculator can give you an estimate in just a few minutes.

However, you should only use the figure you receive from the calculator as a guide because your actual settlement following a successful university data breach claim will vary.

Instead of using a data breach compensation calculator, you could hire a solicitor to represent your case. As part of their services, they can accurately calculate how much your settlement is worth. They will calculate the material damages which seek to compensate you for the financial damage you have experienced as a result of the data breach.

Additionally, they can assess how much you should receive for the psychological harm you have suffered. This is awarded under non-material damages and is often calculated using the Judicial College Guidelines. Solicitors may refer to this document which sets out bracket compensation awards to help them when valuing claims.

For more information on how to use a data breach compensation calculator, please contact us at a time that works for you. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our team to find out more about hiring a solicitor. They could appoint one of our solicitors to your case if it has a chance of success.

How To Find A Data Breach Solicitor And Start A Claim

By reading client reviews, you can gain incredible insight and valuable information to aid you throughout the decision making process. For instance, by reading reviews, you can determine whether the firm is a good fit for you and your case. You can see whether they have relevant experience handling similar cases to yours, and how previous clients felt about their experience.

While we strongly suggest that you read reviews to further your understanding of a firm and their services, we’d highly recommend that you pick up the phone and speak with a solicitor. We offer a free consultation. So that you can have all your questions answered.

If you would like to look at the reviews we have received, please click here. And if you would like to be connected to an expert solicitor, please call our team today.

No Win No Fee University Data Breach Compensation Claims

All our solicitors work under No Win No Fee agreements.

No Win No Fee agreements, also referred to as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA), allow claimants access to solicitors regardless of financial situation. No Win No Fee agreements have the following benefits:

  • There are no fees to pay for a solicitor to start your case.
  • No fees to pay a solicitor while the case is on going.

If the claim happens to be successful and compensation is awarded, your solicitor will deduct a fee for the services they provided. However, please note that the fee is capped by law, so you do not have to worry about losing out on a significant portion of your settlement.

If you would like to discuss No Win No Fee agreements in more detail, please speak to one of our advisers.

Speak To A Data Breach Claim Expert

After taking the time to read our guide, you might have additional questions relating to the claims process. Alternatively, you may have further questions relating to the content within this guide. No matter what questions you may have, our claims teams are standing by and would be more than happy to speak with you.

Not only is our claims team available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with you, but they can offer free advice of no obligation. So, if you would like to speak with one of our advisers, then please contact us using one of the following methods:

We look forward to hearing from you.

Data Breach Solicitors

Regardless of where you’re based, we can help you claim data breach compensation. Please see below for some of our dedicated guides:

Data Breach Claim Resources

We have now reached the final section of the university data breach guide. We hope you have found the advice we have provided useful.

Now that you have read this guide to the end, understandably, you might search for additional resources to further your understanding of the claims process. If that is the case, then please continue reading. Below, we have included some additional information to further your understanding.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Guide By Brennan

Edited By Melissa.

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