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University Of Chester Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

A Chester University data breach could affect you in a number of different ways. You may worry that someone could access your financial accounts, make fraudulent purchases in your name, or even apply for loans. All this worry could keep you up at night and could cause you to experience anxiety and emotional distress.

This guide has been created to help you whether you’ve suffered financially or emotionally due to a Chester University data breach and helps you to find out whether you could claim compensation for the psychological and financial effects of such a breach.

University Of Chester data breach claims guide

University Of Chester data breach claims guide

Here at Legal Expert, we have years of experience helping people from all walks of life when it comes to claiming compensation. In this guide, as well as explaining our services, we offer guidance and information about the laws that protect your data, and what happens if an organisation breaches these laws.

We also discuss data breaches in more detail, explaining how they could happen and the consequences that could occur because of them.

If you’d like to begin a claim or would like us to check whether you’d be eligible for compensation, you can get in touch with our expert advisors at any time on 0800 073 8804.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Chester

Whether it is due to a ransomware or password attack, hacking, malware or a simple mistake by a member of staff, a University of Chester data breach could cause you a number of problems.

But it could also cause problems for the university itself. Data breaches by the University of Chester could lead to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launching an investigation into the university, and if they find that they breached data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Data Protection Act 2018, they could fine the organisation.

But this is not the only way a university should pay for a breach of your data. According to data protection laws, if you can prove that a university has caused you to experience financial (material) or psychological (non-material) harm, a claim could be justified.

This guide has been created to help you if you’ve been affected by data breaches by Chester University. Below, you’ll find information about the laws that universities should adhere to, and how they could be breached. We also explain the kinds of compensation you could claim and how your settlement could be calculated. In addition to this, we explain how we could help you get the compensation you deserve.

What Is A Chester University Data Breach?

Chester University, as an organisation that holds and processes personal data of alumni, staff and students, has a legal duty to protect that data. Laws such as GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 have been put in place to protect the personal data of a variety of data subjects.

If the University of Chester has broken these laws, it could lead to the ICO taking action against them. If you can prove that you have been harmed in some way by the breach, you could also take action against the university too, by making a data breach claim for compensation.

What Is A Data Breach?

According to GDPR, by definition, a data protection breach could include incidents where personal information is unlawfully or accidentally:

  • Made unavailable
  • Lost
  • Stolen
  • Disclosed, altered, transmitted, accessed, processed or stored without authorisation

A data breach by the University of Chester could be caused by:

  • A Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS)
  • Your data being hacked
  • Phishing attacks
  • Ransomware
  • A virus
  • An employee’s error

These are just a few of the examples of how a breach could occur. Whether it was due to someone outside of the university who managed to bypass network security and gain access to your data, or whether it was a consequence of an insider threat, if you can show that the General Data Protection (GDPR) or the Data Protection Act 2018 was breached, you could be eligible for compensation for any consequent harm you’ve suffered.

How Could A University Of Chester Data Breach Affect You?

There could be a number of unpleasant consequences to a Chester University data breach, including:

  • Exposed data could be used by someone to access your personal financial accounts. This could lead to someone stealing your money.
  • A privacy breach could lead to someone using your details to apply for credit in your name or make purchases fraudulently
  • You could suffer a loss of privacy, and such a violation could lead to you suffering mentally with stress, anxiety or depression

While data breach claims against the University of Chester would not turn the clock back and undo the breach, it could help compensate you for the financial and emotional damage you’ve suffered as a result. If you can prove your case, we could help you. We could check your eligibility and provide you with a lawyer to help you claim. Just get in touch to learn more.

GDPR Data Protection Rules For Universities

University data protection is important. Not only do universities hold data relating to their students, but they also are likely to hold the personal details of members of staff and in some cases, alumni.

Like any data controller/processor, this means they have to protect the information that they hold and process. They have a legal obligation to do so under the Data Protection Act and under GDPR.

What Is GDPR?

In 2018, the strongest and most far-reaching data privacy and security law came into force. GDPR protects the personal data of every EU data subject, no matter what country in the world their data is held or processed in. The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) in the UK helps to enforce GDPR. If an organisation is not compliant with the Regulation, it could face the following:

  • A fine of up to 10 million Euros, or two per cent of their preceding year’s annual revenue for less serious GDPR infringements
  • A fine of up to 20 million Euros, or four per cent of their preceding year’s annual revenue for more serious GDPR infringements

To comply with GDPR, the following principles must be applied and followed:

  1. Transparency, lawfulness and fairness
  2. Minimisation of data
  3. Limitation of storage
  4. Limitation of purpose
  5. Confidentiality/integrity
  6. Accuracy
  7. Accountability

GDPR also allows those who’ve suffered harm (material or non-material) as a direct consequence of a data breach to seek compensation from the organisation that breached their data.

Examples Of How A University May Be Affected By Data Breaches

Cybersecurity at Chester University should be taken very seriously as there are several ways in which they could be affected by a data breach. Some universities have already seen action taken against them by the ICO, such as the fine issued to Greenwich University back in 2018, and the Blackbaud hack in 2020.

Greenwich University Fined £120,000

In 2018, the ICO issued a fine of £120,000 to Greenwich University after it found the university had breached almost 20,000 people’s data. The breach occurred when a microsite set up by a student containing the contact details of a number of people, as well as their names and some other sensitive information, was not protected according to the data protection law in place at the time.

The Blackbaud Hack

In 2020, it was revealed that a database company, Blackbaud, used by eight UK universities was the victim of a ransomware attack that breached the personal data of staff, alumni and students at:

  • Cumbria University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • The University of Reading
  • The University of Exeter
  • The University of London
  • University College, Oxford
  • The University of York
  • Loughborough University
  • The University of Leeds

While the perpetrator’s ransom was paid by the company, and the data was thought to have been destroyed, the names, addresses, dates of birth, genders and contact details of a number of people were accessed without authorisation.

In such instances, data breach claims could be pursued against Blackbaud. However, it’s best to get legal advice on your situation, so call us today to learn more.


University Cybersecurity Statistics

Chester Uni cybersecurity may well be something the university takes very seriously, and they may have a robust data protection policy in place. However, according to a report by IT Governance, many universities are not as well protected as perhaps they should be from computer security and data security issues.

The report revealed that 54% of universities in the UK had reported data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office in 2019. It also reported that fewer than 50% of staff members working at universities had been given security awareness training, while only 51% of students studying at universities had received some type of security training.

As well as this, Jisc, a university internet service provider (ISP), conducted testing on the security of a variety of UK Universities computer systems and managed to access more than 50 systems within 2 hours.

Criminal Cybersecurity Attacks Affecting Universities

There are a number of common ways in which cybersecurity attacks could be launched against universities. These include:

  • A DDoS attack – Also known as a denial of service attack, this is where someone could gain access to a computer system and make it unavailable to authorised users.
  • Virus/Malware – Damaging code could be inserted into university computer systems, which could result in data being lost, destroyed, altered or transmitted, for example.
  • Password guessing – If a hacker guesses an authorised user’s password, they could access sensitive information.
  • Phishing – if someone is directed to a fake website that looks identical to a legitimate one, they may enter their user name and password, and a third party would then have their login details.
  • Ransomware – A hacker could gain access to a system and demand a ransom for stolen data to be returned
  • Recording keystrokes – A hacker could record the keystrokes of a user in order to find out what their login details were. They could then gain access to the victim’s accounts.
  • Stolen information – if someone steals information, they could sell it on, or even assume the identity of the person whose data they’ve stolen.

No matter what the cause of the university data breach that caused you harm, if you can show that it breached data protection law, you could claim compensation.

Reasons For Claiming Compensation

There are various reasons you might consider claiming compensation for a University of Chester data breach. One of these is the financial expenses that you’ve incurred due to someone making purchases in your name or gaining access to your bank accounts and stealing money from you.

However, there are other forms of compensation you could claim. You might have suffered a loss of privacy, and you may have been affected psychologically by a breach. If so, you could also claim for these impacts, as GDPR allows you to claim for both non-material (mental) and material (financial) harm.

Could I Really Claim Compensation For Distress?

If you have suffered psychological harm, such as stress, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, there is a legal precedent that allows for victims of data breaches to claim for this harm.

In Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] – Court of Appeal, the law was changed significantly. Previously, financial damage was required in order to seek compensation for mental harm too. Now, a victim of a data breach can seek compensation for one or the other or even both.

Calculating Compensation For Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Chester

If you’re wondering how much compensation you could receive for a University of Chester data breach, it would depend on the level of financial damage or emotional harm you’d suffered. Calculating the financial cost of a breach would usually involve working out how much money you’d lost already as well as any future damage you could suffer.

Calculating psychological injury compensation works differently to this. As part of the data breach claims process, it will be necessary for you to attend a medical assessment with an independent expert. They would assess the psychological injury you’d suffered, review your medical notes, and put together a report that verifies the level of injury and details your recovery time. This would be used to evidence your injury and to work out an appropriate compensation settlement for you.

To illustrate the difference between the varying levels of psychological injuries and the compensation payouts they could attract, we’ve put together a table, using figures from the Judicial College Guidelines. This could give you some insight into how much compensation you could receive for your psychological injury. If you’d like to discuss these figures in more detail, we’d be happy to talk to you.

InjurySeverityJCG Compensation Bracket
General psychiatric injurySevere£51,460 to £108,620
General psychiatric injuryModerately severe£17,900 to £51,460
General psychiatric injuryModerate£5,500 to £17,900
General psychiatric injuryLess severeUp to £5,500
Post-traumatic stress disorderSevere£56,180 to £94,470
Post-traumatic stress disorderModerately severe£21,730 to £56,180
Post-traumatic stress disorderModerate£7,680 to £21,730
Post-traumatic stress disorderLess severeUp to £7,680

Finding The Right Solicitor For Your Case

It is possible for you to go ahead and make a complaint and request compensation for a University of Chester data breach without legal assistance. You may want to gather together all the facts relating to the case before you make your complaint, which may involve making a Subject Access Request (SAR) and then using the information provided to put together a letter of complaint. In your letter, according to the ICO, you should be specific in how you believe your data was breached and ask the organisation to investigate.

You might also wish to report the breach to the ICO too, particularly if the organisation that breached your data doesn’t come back to you with a satisfactory response. We would advise you not to leave it more than three months from the date you last heard from the organisation to inform the ICO of the breach, however. If there undue delays in bringing matters to their attention, they may not investigate your report.

The Benefits Of Legal Support

When making a claim for a University of Chester data breach, there are various complexities that could make it a stressful and complicated process. However, if you have a data breach solicitor take on your claim for you, this could benefit you in a number of different ways:

  • You could be confident that your lawyer would issue proceeding within the relevant time limit (6 years for data breaches, 1 year for human rights breaches)
  • You could be confident that your lawyer would present the case accurately to the defendant
  • You could be sure that your lawyer would attempt to get you the maximum compensation possible for your claim
  • You would not have to pay your lawyer until your claim ended, and only then if it was successful if you work with a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor

Choosing Your Solicitor

If you’re keen to reap the benefits of using a solicitor to help you make your claim, we could help. Legal Expert has handled a huge number of claims successfully by providing solicitors to help claimants get the compensation they deserve. We believe the level of service we offer is exceptional, and we are happy to provide free, no-obligation advice and eligibility checks to anyone who feels they may have a case for compensation.

Our solicitors are extremely well regarded too, and they all work on a No Win No Fee basis. We’d be delighted to provide you with legal help to get the compensation you deserve, just like we have for many other clients. You can read what they thought about our services here.

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

We mentioned that by choosing Legal Expert, you could make a university data breach claim on a No Win No Fee basis. But what does this involve? Simply put, it means you don’t have to pay any fees to your lawyer in advance of your compensation payout.

Initially, you’d be given a Conditional Agreement (the formal name for a No Win No Fee agreement), which your lawyer would ask you to read and sign. Within the document are details of the small success fee that your lawyer would receive from your compensation payout if they achieved a successful outcome for you.

The fee is subject to a cap and represents only a small percentage of the payout. It is only paid if compensation is secured for you. Should your data breach solicitor not be able to get you a settlement, you would not pay it. Nor would you be liable for your solicitor’s costs incurred as a result of them fighting your claim.

You can read our detailed guidance if you’d like to learn more about making claims under these terms. Alternatively, you can give us a call with any questions, and we’ll be happy to answer them.

Speak To A Specialist Lawyer

Whether you’d like to check your eligibility to make a University of Chester data breach claim, or you’re ready to get started, we’re happy to help. You can reach our expert team via any of the methods below:

Supporting Resources

In this last section of our guide to data breach claims, we’ve included links to some extra resources you may appreciate.

Can I Claim For Loss Of Data? – We’ve explained how your data breach could lead to a claim, but what happens if your data is lost. Find out here.

Employee Data Breaches  – Has your employer breached your personal data? Find out if you could claim here.

Data Breached By The Housing Association – If you’ve had your personal data breached by your housing association, you may also be able to claim.

Guidance For Data Controllers/Processors – This page, from the ICO website, explains how organisations should protect data.

How And When To Complain? – The ICO looks at how and when complaints could be made.

What Action Has The ICO Taken?– You can read about the various actions taken by the ICO when it comes to data breaches here.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Thank you for reading this guide to University of Chester data breach claims.


Guide by Jeffries

Edited by Billing

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      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.