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

When you attend a university or when you work at one, it is often necessary for them to store your personal details for one reason or another. As you can imagine, the information stored could be quite valuable. Therefore, this guide about data breach compensation claims against the University of Birmingham aims to give you information to help you. We will review the potential harm a data breach could cause, how it can happen and when you might be entitled to start a claim.      

University Of Birmingham data breach claims guide

University Of Birmingham data breach claims guide

In recent years, both the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 have been introduced to tighten up the rules relating to personal information. Essentially, organisations must now ask your permission and tell you why they need your personal information. Breaches of the data protection rules could lead to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issuing the organisation with a heavy fine and you could start a legal claim against them if you suffer.      

Legal Expert could help. We offer free legal advice, and an advisor can assess your case without obligation for you to make a claim. If the case seems to be strong enough, they could connect you to a specialist No Win No Fee solicitor.

If you would like us to work with you on a university data breach claim, please call our team on 0800 073 8804 today. Otherwise, please continue reading to find out more.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Birmingham

When you hear about a data breach, you might automatically think about Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS), viruses, malware, keystroke recording, ransomware attacks or other computer security issues. In many cases, cybercriminals use these methods to access personal information. However, the GDPR also covers personal information that is stored physically as well. For instance, an organisation could be in breach of the GDPR if they dispose of documents containing personally identifiable information with normal rubbish rather than securely destroying it.

When making a claim, you are required to start within the data breach claim time limits. Mostly, this is a 6-year period but, for cases regarding human rights breaches, the limit can reduce to a single year. Whichever applies, we would always suggest that you could find it easier to discuss the impact of a data breach the sooner you begin your claim. Furthermore, a data breach solicitor might find it easier to gather supporting evidence the sooner they start working on your case.

To find out more about how we could help you start a claim today, please contact one of our friendly advisors.

What Are Data Breach Claims Against Universities?

As we discussed in the last part of this article, a personal data breach can involve any type of data whether it’s stored electronically or physically. A data breach that affected the University of Birmingham, as well as other universities, involved a company called Blackbaud. Many not-for-profit companies and charities as well as universities use their software to manage data. It was part of a ransomware attack in 2020 so we’ll look at the Blackbaud hack later on in this guide.

As defined by the GDPR, a personal data breach is where a security issue results in personally identifiable information about you being altered, accessed, lost, destroyed or disclosed without prior authorisation. 

A data breach may be caused by accident, deliberate actions or illegally. Whatever the reason, the organisation responsible for your data needs to let you know when a breach happens if your information has been exposed. It should also disclose what information was taken and how the attack took place. They may also need to tell the ICO about the breach as well.

You may have questions about data breach claims against the University of Birmingham. Legal Expert can help you understand your rights if any universities have misused your personal information. If you are ready to discuss your case, please call the number at the top of the page today.

How Universities Have To Adapt To The GDPR

The new rules set out in the GDPR make it clear what responsibilities organisations have regarding data protection. It clearly defines organisations responsibilities. The person who is going to have their personal information processed is called a data subject.

When processing the data subject’s personal information, the data controller must be able to show that they comply with the following principles:

  • The process the data controller uses to collect the data needs to be legal, obvious and fair.
  • They have to regularly update all personal information they store.
  • They should process any data securely and confidentially.
  • They’ll only collect the minimum data required to fulfil the processing requirements.
  • They are only allowed to retain personal information for as long they require it.

Even though the data controller may use a data processor to handle personal information, they must ensure they follow these principles. 

We define personal information as anything that could help to identify a data subject (either directly or indirectly). The type of information includes names, email addresses, telephone numbers, ID numbers or home addresses. Additionally, some details about protected characteristics like ethnicity, age, gender or disability could also be classed as personally identifiable information.

You may have other questions about data breach claims against the University of Birmingham. If you would like to know more about how we could help you, please contact one of our advisors today.

Which Universities Have Been Affected By Data Breaches?

Blackbaud, a software provider, suffered a ransomware attack in May 2020. The company, which hosts database management solutions, identified that its data had been accessed and parts were downloaded when it received a ransomware demand.

The company contacted organisations that the breach affected and advised them of the personal information the attackers could have accessed. This included phone numbers, donation information and fundraising activities. 

Unusually, the company paid the ransom demand so that the attackers would destroy the stolen information. They issued a statement to confirm the hackers sent guarantees that they had securely destroyed the data.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53528329

University Data Breach Statistics

We’ve already shown that universities require various pieces of personal information to manage their duties and relationships with staff, students, fundraisers, sponsors and alumni. In addition, some universities work on critical research projects that could involve highly sensitive personal information. Therefore, you might hope that data breaches against universities are not that common. We have provided some data security information below related to some universities. 

The study was based on requests made to universities about recent data breaches. Of the 86 that answered the Freedom of Information requests:

  • A staggering 54% admitted contacting the ICO about data breaches that had taken place in the last 12 months.
  • 51% of respondents offered training to students on data security. 
  • Universities had not offered training to 46% of university staff in data security 
  • The overall average budget for staff awareness training was just over £7,500. 

Source: https://www.redscan.com

Preventing Thefts Of Personal Data

As we have already mentioned, leaked personal information has the potential to cause a lot of harm. Additionally, universities could lose out if they have to pay ICO fines. So how do they prevent personal breaches from occurring? Well, the following steps could help:

  • Training all staff and students on how to keep data as secure as possible.
  • Making sure software and apps are kept up to date.
  • Encrypting data devices so that the information they hold can’t be accessed if lost or stolen.
  • Using penetration testing firms to try and spot security flaws in their networks.
  • Reviewing data privacy policies and updating them regularly.

While these steps may cost money, they could all prove financially beneficial over time and prevent a lot of harm.

What Could You Claim For After A Breach Of Data Privacy?

A data breach compensation claim usually consists of two main parts: material and non-material damages. You could claim the first element when you can prove that the data breach caused you to suffer financial losses. The second relates to any diagnosed medical conditions that have been caused as a direct result of the breach.

While we’d like to tell you exactly how much compensation you could receive following your data breach, each case is different, and claimants are affected differently. Also, solicitors need to assess the long-term effects of a data breach as well as those that have already happened.

For example, if your solicitor helps you claim psychiatric damages such as anxiety, stress, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or depression, they should put you in touch with an independent medical specialist. They would consider whether any problems will exist in the long-term. That could include an impact on your ability to return to work or any problems you have managing relationships.

In a similar vein, if you have suffered financial losses already, you might also need to claim for potential losses in the future. That could be the case if criminals use your personal information to obtain financial products like credit cards. That could potentially cause you to struggle to obtain loans or mortgages in the future because they’ve damaged your credit file.

For the reasons listed above, we advise claimants to seek legal representation in data breach solicitors. It’s important to get the claim right and include absolutely everything in it because once you have agreed to settle your claim, it is not possible to submit a second claim for something you hadn’t realised would affect you.

If you would like one of our solicitors to review your claim thoroughly, please get in touch with our team today.

Data Protection Breach Compensation Calculator

A legal precedent was set when the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] was settled by the Court of Appeal. The ruling meant that claims for psychological injuries caused by data breaches could be made regardless of whether you have suffered any financial losses. In addition, the court ruled that any compensation should refer to the same parameters as personal injury claims. 

That’s why we’ve listed some example compensation figures in the table below. It shows data that we have taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals, insurers and courts use the JCG to help calculate compensation settlements.

Injury TypeAdditonal DetailsSettlement Range
PTSD (Severe)PTSD that has permanent effects and prevents the victim from working or returning to pre-trauma levels. £56,180 to £94,470
PTSD (Moderately Severe)Similar to above but the victim will receive a better prognosis because there is a chance of some recovery with professional support.£21,730 to £56,180
PTSD (Moderate)Where most PTSD symptoms have fully recovered (minor issue might still persist)£7,680 to £21,730
Psychiatric Damage (Severe)The victim won't react to treatment, they will have a very poor prognosis, relationships will be affected badly as will their ability to cope with life and work£51,460 to £108,620
Pyschiatric Damage (Moderately severe)The victim will have significant problems similar to those listed above but there will be a more optimistic prognosis.£17,900 to £51,460

Importantly, the table shows that compensation awards mirror the severity of any injury. Therefore, during your claim, you should visit a local independent medical specialist. They should ask questions about your suffering and review any medical records available to them. Afterwards, they should write a report detailing their medical conclusions and send it to your solicitor.

You may want to know more about data breach claims against the University of Birmingham. Our advisors are ready to take your call 24/7.

How Do Data Protection Breach Compensation Claims Work?

If you choose to claim, you might want to find a specialist solicitor to help you – but how? Some claimants search the web and read online reviews, some ask for recommendations and some just choose the closest law firm to help them. While you might successfully identify a data breach specialist by taking those steps, you could save yourself a lot of effort by simply contacting Legal Expert.

We provide a free advice line where you can ask questions without feeling obliged to continue. If you decide you would like us to help, and our solicitors take your claim on, you will be paired with a data breach solicitor who will explain any complex legal jargon for you. They will also ensure they update you throughout the case. And they will be able to answer any questions you might have. Ultimately, your solicitor will try as hard as possible to achieve the appropriate amount of compensation possible for your suffering.

If you would like to discuss your claim in more detail, pick up the phone and call an advisor today.

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

As we have been helping our clients make all sorts of compensation claims for decades, we know that one thing that people worry about is how much the services of a solicitor will cost. Our No Win No Fee service could remove a lot of that worry and reduce your financial risk too. A No Win No Fee data breach solicitor could bring many benefits to your case. 

If you get in touch, a solicitor will need to check that your claim appears viable before they agree to take it on. Once they are happy, and when you are ready to start, you’ll receive a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is part of your contract, and it will detail the work that your solicitor will carry out during your claim. It will also show that:

  • They won’t request their fees upfront.
  • They won’t ask you to pay any solicitor’s fees or hidden charges while the claim continues.
  • If the case loses, you will not have to cover the solicitor’s fees at all.

The only time you will pay the solicitor is if they win the case for you. If that happens, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation. This is a legally capped percentage of your settlement to cover the cost of your solicitor’s work. To make everything clear, your percentage will be clearly highlighted in the CFA.

If you want to find out if you could use our No Win No Fee service to fund your solicitor, why not call us today?

Discuss Your Case With Our Team

We are almost at the end of this article about data breach claims against the University of Birmingham. We do hope that you have found the details we’ve provided useful. Should you now want to begin a claim, you can reach us through:

  • Live chat: discuss your case with one of our specialist online advisors.
  • Telephone: Call us today for free claims advice on 0800 073 8804.
  • Email: Send details to us about your claim in an email addressed to info@legalexpert.co.uk.
  • Online: Begin an online claim and we will arrange for a specialist to call you back.

We will always try to keep the claims process as straightforward as possible. Our advisors won’t offer you false hope, but they will review your claim for free and offer free legal advice on your options. If they believe that your case is strong enough, they could connect you to one of our specialist data breach lawyers. Please remember that for any claim they agree to work on, they will use our No Win No Fee solution.

Related Claims Services

You have reached the final section of this article about data breach claims against the University of Birmingham. We’ve added some links below to external resources which you may find useful during your claim. Additionally, as we are able to support other types of compensation claims, we’ve included some more of our useful guides as well. If you need any extra information, please feel free to get in touch with our team.

Subject Access Requests – An ICO article that sets out your right to ask public bodies for the information they hold on you.

Mental Health And Wellbeing – NHS advice on dealing with stress, depression or anxiety.

No Win No Fee Claims – A more detailed look at how Conditional Fee Agreements work.

Delayed Treatment Compensation – Information regarding claiming for the harm caused by delayed medical treatment.

Mis-Sold Pensions – Information on how to claim if you have suffered due to a mis-sold pension.

Written by Hambridge

Edited by Victorine

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