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University Of Bath Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

Welcome to our University of Bath data breach compensation guide. Universities hold a large amount of personally identifiable information about its students, staff, fundraisers and alumni which needs to be stored securely. That’s because personal data can be used by criminals in all sorts of ways ranging from blackmail to identity theft. In this article, we are going to review the harm that could be caused by a University of Bath data breach and when you might be compensated for that harm.

Although the article references the University of Bath, the same principles could be applied to other educational establishments as well.

University Of Bath data breach claims guide

University Of Bath data breach claims guide

You’ve probably heard the General Data Protection Regulation by its acronym GDPR. It was introduced into the British legal system when The Data Protection Act 2018 was enacted. With the introduction of these laws came tougher rules relating to how organisations process, store, manage and share personal information. If a personal data breach occurs, organisations could face severe financial penalties issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (the ICO) which we will discuss later on.

We are here to support anybody who is thinking of starting a university data breach claim. Our advisors are specialists in providing free advice on making a claim and can assess each case in a no-obligation telephone assessment. If there is a likelihood of success with your claim, you may be referred to a specialist data protection solicitor who’ll provide a No Win No Fee agreement to fund your claim if they take it on.

To find out more or to begin a claim straight away, please call us on 0800 073 8804. To learn more about the changes to data protection rules and procedures, please continue reading.

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A Guide About Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Bath

It seems like every time we do anything these days, we have to tick a box or click on a pop-up message to give our permission to one thing or another. That’s because of the changes to data protection rules that came into effect when the GDPR was introduced.

They mean that any organisation who needs your personal data needs to gain your permission before they process it, store it, sell it, share it or do anything else with it. If they don’t, and they’re found to have broken data protection laws, they could face a large fine from the ICO.

Moreover, if you’re harmed by a university data breach, you might be entitled to compensation for the stress, anxiety or worry it results in. We’ll look at how much compensation could be awarded for different psychological issues later on.

There are strict time limits relating to data breach claims. In general, the limitation period is 6-years, but that can drastically reduce to a single year should the claim relate to human rights breaches so please bear that in mind.

We would always advise that it’s often easier to remember what happened and how you were affected the earlier you start a claim. In addition, a solicitor might find they can obtain evidence easier if the claim is started earlier rather than later.

In this article, we are going to provide a wealth of information relating to data breaches and when they could lead to a compensation claim. Once you’ve read this article in full, please give us a call if there are any remaining queries or if you want to begin a claim. Our advisors are happy to provide free claims advice even if you don’t start a legal case.

What Is A University Of Bath Data Breach?

While data breaches are commonly thought to involve computer problems caused by hackers, ransomware and viruses, they can involve physical pieces of paper as well. For instance, personal information stored in filing cabinets is also protected by the GDPR.

That said, one large data breach that has affected over 150 organisations, including universities, happened when a database that is used to keep details of university alumni and supporters was hacked and backups were taken. The company who supply the software, Blackbaud, had to pay a ransom for the stolen data to be destroyed.

Within the GDPR, a personal data breach is described as a security problem in which personal data is accessed, altered, destroyed, lost or disclosed by means that you have not authorised. Whether the breach happens because of an accident, a deliberate or an illegal act does not matter – the ICO could still investigate and issue fines where necessary.

To find out whether you are able to claim for the harm caused by the Blackbaud hack or any other type of data breach, please discuss your case with our team today.

What Information Is Protected By The General Data Protection Regulation?

There are lots of definitions listed within the GDPR’s 88-pages. Here are a few examples:

  • A data subject: the person who is going to have their personal information processed.
  • The data controller: a company or organisation who is responsible for explaining why personal data is needed and the method that will be used to process it.
  • A data processor: individuals or companies who process data at the request of a data controller.
  • Personally identifiable information: any data which allows you to be identified directly or indirectly. Examples include names, telephone numbers, addresses, email addresses, gender information, ID numbers and disability information.

The GDPR further explains that data controllers must be able to demonstrate that they adhere to the following principles:

  • Data processing must be legal. It must also be transparent and fair. The data subject must also be told why their data is required.
  • When collecting data, only a minimum amount is allowed to be processed.
  • Any processed data that contains personal information must be updated when changes occur.
  • The methods used to process data should be both secure and also confidential.
  • Processed data may only be kept for as long as is necessary.

We could help you begin a claim if you find that a university data breach has caused you to suffer. Please let us know how you’ve been affected, and we’ll consider your options with you.

What Are Some Examples Of Data Breaches Suffered By Data Breaches?

As we’ve already mentioned, the ICO has the ability to launch investigations into potential data breaches. If found guilty of breaking data protection laws, the company involved could face a substantial penalty.

In this section, we’re going to provide more details on the Blackbaud data hack which posed a threat to a number of the software company’s customers as well as a case where the ICO issued a fine of £120,000 to a university following a breach.

The Blackbaud case happened when a hacker accessed the company’s servers in May 2020. The hack meant that the cybercriminal gained access to records containing the personal details of staff, students, financial supporters and alumni of some of the universities who use the software.

It has come to light that the company were the victim of ransomware and have paid the ransom so that the stolen data would be destroyed.


In our next case study, the University of Greenwich was issued with a £120,000 fine by the ICO after a serious data breach. The event happened when a department at the university created a micro-website to support a training event in 2004. When the site was created, records containing the personal information of 19,500 students was uploaded. After the event finished, the microsite wasn’t closed down or secured in any way meaning the data was available to anybody to download.

The data included names, dates of birth, addresses, signatures, phone numbers and any recorded mental or physical health problems in some cases. The ICO issued a statement explaining that the breach would have led to serious distress because students would’ve expected their personal information to have been kept securely by the university.


Statistics On The Number Of Universities Affected Data Breach

Would you be surprised to hear that 54% of universities who took part in a recent study have said that they’ve informed the ICO about data breaches in the past year? We were, especially when you think about how strong the new data protection laws are. While not all universities responded to the Freedom of Information requests made by the security firm who conducted the study, 86 did reply in total.

Quite worryingly, the study found that the budget for training staff on data issues averaged out at £7,529 for each university. Additionally, 46% of staff had not had any cuber security awareness training during the last year.

As well as staff issues, the study looked at what provision had been made to make students security conscious. Its findings suggested that 51% of the universities failed to provide any training to students but others (37%) did report that they provided resources if asked for advice.


While universities control personal information about its students, staff, alumni and donors, there is also a lot of sensitive information used in studies and research in many cases. You might therefore think that raising the budget for training staff on how to keep data secure is essential.

If you want to tell us about a security breach that has affected you, please contact one of our advisors today. We’ll assess your claim for free and provide advice about your options.

University Cyber Security Breaches And Criminal Data Thefts

If data security in universities is to improve, what steps are needed? Here are a few actions that could reduce the risks:

  • Ensuring all staff, pupils and contractors are aware of the university’s data protection policies and know how to use data safely.
  • Using encryption to secure laptops, tablets and memory sticks so that any stored data is secure in the event of a loss or a theft.
  • Reviewing all security policies regularly.
  • Using penetration testing to identify weaknesses in the IT infrastructure. This could also help spot physical problems like unlocked computer rooms.
  • Ensuring IT equipment and software is kept up to date.

Taking proactive steps might cost money but they could save any personal or sensitive data from being leaked into the wrong hands. They could also prevent the university from being fined by the ICO.

What Damages Could You Be Awarded After A Data Breach?

Preparing a potential University of Bath data breach compensation claim can be a complex process. That’s because you’re only allowed to make a single claim which means you can’t afford to leave anything out. In general, your specialist solicitor will usually look at claiming for the financial losses you have incurred (material damages) and any psychological injuries which have resulted from the data breach (non-material damages).

Unfortunately, it is not that simple though. That’s because as well as looking at the problems caused by the data leak already, your case will be assessed to work out if any problems are likely to continue in the future.

For instance, when a cybercriminal uses personal information about you to obtain financial products like loans, you could suffer in the short-term while the crime is investigated. Additionally, there could be a longer-term impact on your ability to apply for mortgages, loans or credit cards because your credit record has been tarnished.

In a similar way, when your solicitor consults with medical professionals to assess the impact that depression, anxiety or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has had on you, they will also look at whether you are continuing to suffer. These conditions could make it difficult to handle work or life in general and may also have an adverse effect on your relationships with others.

Hopefully, we’ve shown how important it is for each case to be assessed properly before a compensation claim is lodged. If you work with Legal Expert, one of our solicitors will review all aspects of your claim to attempt to make sure nothing is forgotten.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you start a claim, please discuss what happened with a member of our team for free advice about the options available to you.

Compensation Calculator For University Of Bath Data Breaches

At one time in data breach cases, you were only allowed to ask for damages relating to psychological harm after you’ve proven that you lost out financially. However, the Court of Appeal instructed that, when reviewing the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], financial losses don’t need to be proven to claim for the mental injuries caused by a personal data breach. Furthermore, the judges agreed that any compensation award for such harm should be at the same level as personal injury claims.

Therefore, we’ve provided a table that shows personal injury compensation figures for some relevant injuries. We’ve used figures provided by the Judicial College who maintains a list of guideline figures for legal professionals to help work out compensation amounts.

Type Of InjurySeverityCompensationAdditional Information
Psychiatric DamageWhen assessing psychiatric damage claims, 4 factors are usually considered - these are: 1) The ability of the victim to cope with life, education or work; 2) Any effect on personal or professional relationships 3) If medical treatment will help; 4) The overall prognosis.
Psychiatric DamageSevere£51,460 to £108,620All 4 factors will have been affected badly which means a very poor prognosis will be offered.
Psychiatric DamageModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460There will have been and remain to be significant issues with the factors listed but there will be a more optimistic prognosis.
Psychiatric DamageModerate£5,500 to £17,900There will have been a good amount of recovery already which means the patient will receive a good prognosis.
Psychiatric DamageLess SevereUp to £5,500The factors in this category differ in that the length of disability are considered as well has how long daily tasks and sleep were affected.

To try and make sure the right amount of compensation is paid, you need to supply medical evidence along with your claim to prove the extent of your injuries. That’s why, during the claims process, your solicitor will arrange for you to visit a medical specialist who would be based locally to you.

During your assessment, the specialist will discuss the impact and effects of the data breach with you. They’ll also consider any medical records available to them. After the appointment has finished, they will write a report which explains their findings which will be forwarded to your solicitor.

How Does The Data Breach Claims Process Work?

The first thing you might want to do if you are thinking of making a university data breach claim is to search for a solicitor. The easiest way to do that is to give Legal Expert a call. Not only could you save a lot of time, but you’ll also have the opportunity to discuss your claim and ask any questions before agreeing to work with us.

Should your case be taken on by one of our data breach solicitors, they’ll be available to answer your queries throughout the claim. They’ll explain any complex legal terms when needed and provide you with important updates regularly. If you work with Legal Expert, we’ll do all we can to try to ensure you are compensated fairly for your suffering.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Bath

When we discuss compensation claims with new clients, many are worried about the amount of money it will cost to hire a solicitor. We understand that completely and it’s the main reason our solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service for claims they take on. You’ll find the claims process less stressful because the No Win No Fee agreement will reduce your financial risk greatly.

Before your case is taken on, a solicitor will check that it has an acceptable chance of success. Once the solicitor agrees to take your claim forward, you’ll be provided with a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA. The CFA is where you’ll find out how the claim will be managed. Importantly, the CFA will explain that:

  • No money needs to be paid upfront.
  • Solicitor’s fees will not be charged as the claim continues.
  • If your claim doesn’t work out in your favour, you won’t have to cover any of your solicitor’s fees.

In cases where compensation is won, a success fee will be deducted by your solicitor. This is a percentage of your settlement used to cover the solicitor’s time and costs. So that you know what percentage you’ll pay, the success fee (which is limited by law) is clearly shown in your CFA.

Why not find out if you’re eligible to use our No Win No Fee solution by speaking to a specialist today?

Discuss Your Case With Our Team

If you’ve decided that you are going to make a claim for a University of Bath data breach, and you’d like Legal Expert to work with you, here are the easiest ways to start a claim:

When you contact Legal Expert, you’ll receive a no-obligation assessment of your case as well as completely free advice. Should your claim appear to be viable, we could introduce you to one of our data breach solicitors.

Related Services And Guides

We have now arrived at the last section of this article regarding University of Bath data breach claims. Therefore, we’ve provided some links to further resources which might prove useful. Additionally, as Legal Expert can help with different types of compensation claims, we’ve added a few of our guides here too.

Privacy Statement – The privacy and personal data policy for the University of Bath.

ICO Fines – An up to date news feed of the latest investigations conducted by the ICO.

Anxiety, Panic And Fear – NHS advice on what treatment is available for those who struggle to cope with fear and anxiety.

Data Breach Stress – Details on how the stress caused by a personal data breach could lead to a compensation claim.

Personal Injury Claims – Advice on how to try to improve your chances of successfully claiming for personal injuries.

Workplace Accident Claims – Information on when your employer might need to compensate if you’re injured in an accident at work.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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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.