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

My Data Was Exposed By A Breach At Gloucestershire University, Could I Claim Compensation?

If you can prove you’ve been harmed either financially or psychologically due to a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire, you may be looking into whether you could be eligible to claim compensation for it. This guide has been created to help answer any questions you might have about data breach claims and explains how data breaches could happen and the legislation that allows you to claim compensation for damage suffered as a result of a University of Gloucestershire data breach.

University Of Gloucestershire data breach claims guide

University Of Gloucestershire data breach claims guide

Whether you’ve been impacted by a student data breach, an alumni data breach or a staff data breach, such an incident could affect you financially or psychologically, or perhaps in both ways.

This guide explains how such damage could happen and offers examples of how past university data breaches, such as the Blackbaud hack, have led to investigative action by the Information Commissioner’s Office, also referred to as the ICO, and fines for some universities.

It also explains how we at Legal Expert could help you fight for compensation for a breach of your data protection that has caused you harm. If you’d like to benefit from a free case assessment or start your claim today, you can call our expert team for free on 0800 073 8804.

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Your Guide To Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Gloucestershire

As an organisation that holds and processes data about students, staff and alumni, the University of Gloucestershire should have a robust data protection policy in place in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018, which replaces the Data Protection Act 1998.

It must also comply with the world’s most stringent data privacy and protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. If you are affected financially or emotionally due to a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire, these laws could allow you to claim compensation for the damage you’ve suffered.

They could also lead to the university being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office, which enforces these laws in the UK. But what is a data breach, how could one occur, and how could it affect you?

These questions and more are answered in the sections below. In this guide, we explain more about the laws that protect your personal data and the ways in which you could be harmed by a University of Gloucestershire data breach. We also look at how compensation could be calculated and how we could help you get the maximum compensation possible for your claim.

What Is A Data Breach By Gloucestershire University?

Data breach claims against the University of Gloucestershire could be justifiable for a number of reasons. Before we go on to explain what a data breach is, however, we should first explain what personal data consists of.

What Is Personal Data?

The Information Commissioner’s Office explains that personal data is that which relates to people who:

  • Could directly be identified from it
  • Could indirectly be identified from it, if it is used in combination with other data

Examples of personal data could include your name, title, date of birth, IP address, and more.

Data Breaches Explained

A data breach, according to GDPR, involves a data security incident that means your data is:

  • Lost
  • Stolen
  • Made unavailable
  • Unlawfully accessed, transmitted, processed, disclosed, altered or stored

How Could A Data Breach By The University Of Gloucestershire Happen?

A data breach could be caused due to action or inaction of someone within the organisation or someone outside of it. It could be malicious or it may happen by accident. Some examples could include:

  • A hacking
  • A ransomware attack
  • Phishing attacks
  • Employee mistakes, such as sending e-mails to the wrong people
  • Insufficient computer security protocols
  • Theft of physical equipment containing personal data
  • Loss of physical equipment containing personal data
  • A denial of service attack

How A University of Gloucestershire Data Breach Could Affect You

You may be affected in several ways by a breach of data privacy. Some examples could include:

  • Financial Theft – If someone obtains enough of your personal information to access your bank account, for example, they could steal money from you.
  • Identity theft – If someone obtains information about you, they could assume your identity and apply for finance using your details, for example. They could also make fraudulent purchases using your details.
  • Loss of privacy – You may experience a loss of privacy, particularly if sensitive information about you is breached.
  • Emotional harm – You could be anxious, stress or depressed about a breach of your personal data.

If you can evidence that you have suffered harm due to a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire in any of the ways above, we could help you. If you’re not sure whether you’d be eligible, we could check this for you for free. Just call us on the number at the top of this page.

Examples Of Breaches Of The GDPR

Every data controller that holds or processes information relating to EU subjects must comply with GDPR, no matter where they are based. Breaches of GDPR could not only result in fines, but they could also lead to compensation claims from subjects whose personal data has been breached. There are 7 principles that universities must abide by to avoid breaches of data, which include:

  • Accuracy
  • Purpose limitation
  • Minimisation
  • Storage limitation
  • Confidentiality/Integrity
  • Transparency, lawfulness, and fairness
  • Accountability

A breach of any of these principles could lead to an organisation being investigated, and fines could be up to:

  • €10m or 2% of annual global turnover for less serious infringements
  • €20m or 4% of annual global turnover for more serious infringements

Which UK Universities Have Experienced Data Breaches?

There are several examples of universities that have been affected by data breaches, with the most heavily reported one being the Blackbaud hack.

What’s The Blackbaud Hack?

In early 2020, Blackbaud, a database company that held the data of many universities’ staff, alumni and students, was subjected to a ransomware attack. The company paid the perpetrator a ransom for the destruction of the data, but it was said that personal details relating to staff, students and alumni of the following UK universities were unlawfully accessed:

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

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53528329

Other University Data Breaches

Not all university data breaches involve malicious acts, however. Other breaches caused by errors or omissions include:

  • East Anglia University’s Data Breaches – In 2017, a member of the university’s staff’s personal details were sent to approximately 300 students. In addition to this, the university had to pay £140,000 to students whose sensitive personal information was sent to almost 300 people. Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-41934027
  • Greenwich University’s Fine – The ICO fined Greenwich University £120,000 when they breached the data of nearly twenty thousand people by leaving a microsite unprotected online.

If can show that you’ve been affected by a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire similar to the above, or in any other way that breaches data protection laws, including The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, why not call our team for a free assessment of whether you could make a claim?

University Cyber Security Breach Statistics

While you may think that all universities have strict security protocols relating to internet privacy, information governance and records management, a data protection report from IT Governance may convince you otherwise. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 request made to universities revealed that over half of universities reported breaches of data in 2019 to the ICO.

The article also revealed that fewer than half of university staff had been given awareness training and only just over half of university students had been given data security training. In addition, the article reported that tests conducted by university internet services provider Jisc had resulted in more than 50 university systems being accessed in less than 2 hours.

Source: https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/blog/54-of-universities-reported-a-data-breach-in-the-past-year

Criminal Hacks And Data Leaks

There are several threats that universities may need to protect themselves from, including:

  • Theft of personal data – if personal data is stolen, a criminal could sell it, or they may use it to steal money or commit identity fraud
  • Password attack – if a password is hacked, then a criminal could use it to access systems they are not authorised to use.
  • Virus/Malware attacks – these could cause the theft, alteration, loss, or transmission of personal information.
  • Keystroke recorders – criminals could steal the login details of authorised users to access systems they should not have access to.
  • Phishing – Phishing attacks could result in authorised users giving their login credentials to unauthorised users by entering them on fake websites.
  • DDoS attacks – A denial of service attack could result in an authorised user being unable to access their own information.
  • Ransomware attack – like the Blackbaud hack, a cybercriminal could request a ransom for the return or destruction of stolen information.

Whether a data breach by Gloucestershire University you were affected by involved any of these threats or a simple mistake by an employee of the university, we could help you claim compensation.

Types Of Compensation Which May Be Awarded

Under GDPR you could claim both non-material and material damages if you’ve suffered harm because of a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire.

Material Harm Explained

Material harm relates to quantifiable financial expenses caused by a breach. These could include fraudulent purchases using your details, or financial theft from your bank account, for example.

Non-Material Harm Explained

This is more difficult to quantify and relates to the psychological harm that was caused by the data breach.

Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] – Court of Appeal

The reason it could be possible to claim psychological damage caused by a data breach is that the above case set a legal precedent. In this case, the Court of Appeal changed the legal position which previously stated that a claim could only be made for psychiatric harm stemming from a breach if financial harm had been suffered.

Now it’s possible to claim for either form of damage. And to provide further guidance, the Court of Appeal recommended that psychological harm be valued with reference to personal injury law.

This means that claimants who have suffered anxiety, stress or depression as a direct result of a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire could claim compensation for it.

University Data Protection Breach Compensation Calculator

Calculating how much compensation could be appropriate as a victim of a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire would involve assessing all the evidence of the impact that the data breach has had on you. For example, to assess your financial damage, the evidence of how you have been financially affected by the breach of your personal data could include bank statements, credit card statements, credit ratings and other financial records.

Calculating University Data Breach Compensation For Psychological Harm

Data breach claims against the University of Gloucestershire that involve psychological harm would require claimants to undergo a medical assessment to provide independent verification of the harm they’d suffered due to the breach.

If you intend to make a claim of this type, you’d need to attend an appointment with an independent expert who would assess your psychological injuries. This would take place as part of the claims process and would be arranged by your data breach solicitor. The medical expert would provide a report that could be submitted as evidence and that could also be used to calculate how much compensation could be appropriate.

We have used figures from the Judicial College Guidelines in the table below to provide you with some insight into the potential payouts psychological injuries could attract. The Judicial College Guidelines is a publication that lawyers and the courts use to hone in on an appropriate value for claims.

InjuryApprox CompensationSeverity
General psychiatric damageUp to £5,500Less severe
Post-traumatic stressUp to £7,680Less severe
General psychiatric damage£5,500 to £17,900Moderate
Post-traumatic stress£7,680 to £21,730Moderate
General psychiatric damage£17,900 to £51,460Moderately severe
Post-traumatic stress£21,730 to £56,180Moderately severe
Post-traumatic stress£56,180 to £94,470Severe
General psychiatric damage£51,460 to £108,620Severe

As you can see, these compensation brackets can be quite broad. If you’d like to know a more precise figure, we’d need to discuss your case with you in more detail. Simply call us on the number at the top of this page and we can advise you on your specific circumstances.

What Is The Data Breach Compensation Process?

If you believe that you’ve been the victim of a University of Gloucestershire data breach, you may wish to write to the university’s data protection officer with details of how you believe the breach occurred.

You could also include details of how the data protection breach has affected you and ask the university for compensation. If the answer you receive is not satisfactory to you, you could escalate your university data breach complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and ask them to investigate.

However, it would be wise not to leave it too long to do so, as the ICO may not investigate your complaint if there have been undue delays in bringing the matter to their attention.

Do I Need A Lawyer?

To make data breach claims against the University of Gloucestershire, you may be under the assumption that you would need legal assistance. While it isn’t a legal requirement to have legal support when making a claim for a breach of data protection legislation, and you could go it alone, you may prefer to work with a lawyer.

There are certain benefits to retaining the services of a solicitor when making a claim for a data breach, which include:

  • Not having to complete complex paperwork yourself, as your lawyer would take on the hard work of fighting your claim
  • Knowing that the lawyer would be mindful of the time limits for data breach claims and would submit paperwork within the relevant limitation period (6 years for data breaches, 1 year for human rights breaches)
  • The knowledge that your lawyer would know how to build a strong case and negotiate the maximum settlement possible for your case
  • The knowledge that your lawyer would ensure you include everything you could possibly claim for within your claim

Why Choose Legal Expert?

At Legal Expert, we have a team of expert advisors who could help you claim for a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire that you’ve been harmed by. Not only could we offer you free legal advice and an eligibility assessment, but we could also provide you with a solicitor who could fight for compensation on your behalf.

We have been providing these services for many years and have received praise from previous claimants that demonstrate our dedication to making sure claimants get the compensation they deserve.

You can read our reviews here to see what previous claimants have thought of the services we’ve provided to them, and we’d be glad to provide the same great service to you too.

No Win No Fee And Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Gloucestershire

If you’ve suffered psychological or financial harm due to a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire, you may wish to obtain legal support.

You do not have to pay a lawyer upfront when making a university data breach claim for compensation if you choose a lawyer that works under No Win No Fee terms. All of Legal Expert’s solicitors operate under such a service, which means you don’t have to pay them anything until your university data breach compensation claim is successfully completed and compensation has been arranged for you.

How Do No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Gloucestershire Work?

To make a claim under a No Win No Fee agreement, you’d initially be required to sign and return a Conditional Fee Agreement (the formal name for a No Win No Fee agreement) that your lawyer would send to you. This agreement document would detail the amount (a small percentage of your compensation) you’d pay your solicitor as a success fee once your compensation payout had been arranged. This is a legally capped fee and is only payable if your lawyer achieves a payout for you. It’s used to cover your lawyer’s legal fees.

Once the agreement has been received back by your solicitor, they’d begin to build your case and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Once this was arranged, the success fee would be taken from the payout and you’d benefit from the rest of your settlement. If your solicitor was unable to negotiate a settlement for you, you would not have to pay the success fee or cover your solicitor’s costs either.

If you’d like to know more about No Win No Fee claims, we have produced a handy guide to help you, which you can access here. Or, if you prefer, you could call our expert team and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Contact Our Team To Have Your Case Assessed

If you’re ready to talk to us about a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire, we’re here to help. To benefit from free advice, obtain a free, no-obligation eligibility check on your cases, or to begin a claim, simply:

We’d be delighted to help you claim the compensation you deserve for a university data breach that has caused you financial or psychological harm.

Where To Learn More

Making A Subject Access Request (SAR) – If you want to find out what data an organisation has on you, you could make a SAR to find out. This guide shows you how to go about it.

Compliance Reporting– Here, you can read more about compliance reporting for organisations.

Worried About Cyber Security Surrounding Your Data? –  If you’re concerned about university cyber security provisions to protect your data, you can find out how to raise a concern here.

Data Loss Claims Guide– Find out more about making a claim for the loss of your personal data here.

Employee Data Privacy Breaches– Has an employer breached your data? Find out how to claim here.

Data Breach Distress Claims– If you’ve suffered distress due to a data breach, this guide could be useful to you.

Thank you for reading our guide to claims involving a data breach by the University of Gloucestershire.

 

Guide by Jeffries

Edited by Billing

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