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University Of Huddersfield Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

When you attend a university, a lot of your personal information will be stored for organisational reasons. The same is true about the personal information relating to the staff at the university too. While these details are vital to the running of the university, they could also cause a lot of harm if they get into the wrong hands. While this article relates to data breach claims against the University of Huddersfield, the details we’ll supply could apply to other educational establishments as well.

In addition to looking at the potential harm a personal data breach could cause, we’ll explain when you could be entitled to receive data breach compensation.

University Of Huddersfield data breach claims guide

University Of Huddersfield data breach claims guide

Data protection laws have been around for many years, but they have been enhanced in recent years by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and also The Data Protection Act 2018.

These pieces of legislation mean that any organisation who wants to use personal information (data controllers) need to seek permission from individuals (data subjects) first.

They must also introduce procedures and systems to try and keep the information secure. If they fail to do so, and a personal data breach takes place, they could be heavily fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Moreover, you could begin legal proceedings to claim compensation.

If you want to discuss claiming, Legal Expert is here for you. We can provide free legal advice and a no-obligation assessment of your case. Additionally, if the claim appears feasible, we could partner you with a specialist solicitor from our team. To help reduce the stress of claiming, all cases that are accepted are handled on a No Win No Fee basis.

To have your case reviewed for free today, please call us on 0800 073 8804. If you’d rather find out more information about university data breach claims before calling, please continue reading.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Huddersfield

It is impossible for a university to manage its students without holding some of their personal information. However, in line with the GDPR, they must explain what information they want to process, how it will be used and who it will be shared with.

The same is true of any organisation who wants to process your personal information. Additionally, before they can process your data, they need your permission to do so. It’s the reason you’ll notice loads of tick boxes on forms and pop-up boxes when visiting new websites.

After you have shared your data privacy preferences with any organisation, they are legally obliged to stick to them. For example, if you use your email address to register with a website, the owner can’t use that email address to send you newsletters unless you’ve also agreed to it being used for that purpose.

Also, the personal information you provide must be securely stored to prevent it from being leaked to unauthorised parties. While the ICO could issue a financial penalty to an organisation who has broken data protection rules, they can’t compensate you. For that to happen, you will need to bring your own legal proceedings against the organisation responsible.

To adhere to the time limits associated with data breach claims, you will need to start your case within 6-years. The only exception is that a 1-year time limit applies to cases that revolve around breaches of human rights. It’s probably a good idea to start as early as you can because your solicitor will likely find it easier to obtain supporting evidence. Additionally, you are likely to find it easier to recall the suffering that was caused by the data breach.

When you’re ready, please call an advisor to review your data breach claim.

What Is A Personal Data Breach By The University Of Huddersfield?

It’s important that we point out that data breaches don’t exclusively relate to digital data. They can also involve physical documentation like personal records held in filing cabinets, for instance. The GDPR defines data breaches as incidents that happen when a security flaw means your personal data is lost, altered, disclosed, destroyed or accessed in an unauthorised manner.

The reason for the data breach (deliberate, accidental or illegal) doesn’t matter, the ICO could still fine the data controller for the breach.

If data breaches happen, the data controller must take immediate steps to investigate what happened. If they decide that any data subject could be at risk, they must inform then about the breach and what data was exposed. On top of that, they must let the ICO know about the data breach as well.

If you would like more information about data breach claims against the University of Huddersfield, please contact a member of our team today.

What Happens If The GDPR Is Breached?

The GDPR is a lengthy 88-page article. Although there is a lot of information within its pages, it is quite easy to understand because it clearly defines a number of roles and responsibilities. For instance, the GDPR states that data controllers must comply with the following data processing principles:

  • Every data subject must be informed about why their information is going to be processed.
  • Data processing methods must be legal, fair and transparent to the data subject at all times.
  • There is no time limit for how long personal information is kept but it should not be retained any longer than necessary.
  • When collecting data, the minimum amount should be processed to meet objectives.
  • All personal information that is stored as part of the processing has to be kept up to date.
  • All data processing must be conducted confidentially and securely (encryption may be required, for instance).

If you want us to review whether you have been harmed in any way because the above principles were not adhered to, please let an advisor know today.

How Have Universities Been Affected By Breaches In Data Protection?

Now it’s time for us to consider some real scenarios that have resulted in data breaches involving universities.

In the first case study, the University of Greenwich received a £120,000 fine by the ICO following a recent data breach. The “serious” breach meant details of around 20,000 people were left online for many years and eventually accessed by unknown cyber attackers.

A student and an academic created a micro-website to be used during a training seminar in 2004. The personal details were uploaded to this site. After the event was over, the website was not taken down or secured. At some point in 2013, the website was compromised, and multiple hackers used the vulnerability to access the data.

The ICO fined the university because, although they didn’t know about the website’s existence, they did not have the technical or organisational procedures in place that could’ve prevented the breach.

In another case involving multiple UK universities, a provider of a database used to keep in contact with alumni was the victim of a ransomware attack. After an internal investigation, the company found that some of its backup servers had been accessed and some of the data had been downloaded by cybercriminals.

While it is not recommended by law enforcement agencies, Blackbaud (the software provider) paid the hacker’s ransom in exchange for confirmation that the information had been destroyed.


University Data Breach Statistics

Having read this guide, you might be of the opinion that data breaches involving hacking, computer security issues or ransomware demands are serious but not that common. However, a recent study by one IT security firm has revealed some astonishing statistics. The report, based on the responses of 86 UK universities, shows that:

  • More than half of the universities involved in the study have reported data breaches to the ICO within the last 12-months.
  • Proactive data security training was only offered to 51% of students.
  • Similarly, 46% of staff had not received any safety awareness training within the last year.
  • Over a quarter of universities (27%) had never used an external company to conduct penetration testing on their IT systems.
  • The budget set annually to train staff on data safety was, on average, just over £7,500 per university.


In this day and age, the lack of investment highlighted by this report may seem alarming. In the next part of this article, we will look at some practical steps that could help reduce the risk of further data breaches.

How To Prevent A Cyber Security Breach

While we are not IT or network security specialists, there are some standard industry practices which universities could adopt to reduce the risk of being the victim of future breaches. These include:

  • Only allowing computers and devices with the latest updates applied to be used on the university network.
  • Training staff, contractors and students on the latest data safety techniques.
  • Hiring a cybersecurity firm to check the network for weaknesses before criminals exploit them.
  • Encrypting portable devices so they are rendered useless if lost or stolen.
  • Regularly reviewing and updating data protection policies.

It is true that these steps will cost money. However, in the long-term, they could prevent universities from suffering cyberattacks in the future. In turn, that could mean avoiding an ICO fine and preventing harm to anybody whose personal information could be exposed.

Compensation Which Could Be Awarded In A Data Breach Claim Against A University

When you decide that you would like to start legal proceedings because you have suffered due to a data protection breach, it’s not as easy as requesting a certain amount of money. You need to justify what you ask for by providing evidence. Importantly, once you have settled in full, you are not able to request further compensation later. Therefore, it’s important that your claim considers all aspects of your suffering.

Generally, compensation awards can contain two main parts: material and non-material damages. Material damages are based on money that you have lost, and non-material damages look at the psychological suffering caused by the data breach.

When claiming for financial losses, you will first calculate that which has already occurred. At the same time, you may wish to claim for future losses as well. These could happen if, for example, your personal information has been circulated on the dark web and has ended up in the hands of cybercriminals.

In a similar fashion, while your claim will include any harm suffered as a result of stress, depression or anxiety already suffered, you might want to use an independent medical assessor to work out if there will be any long-term symptoms. For instance, those conditions could cause problems with your relationships, how you cope with everyday life and whether you’ll be able to return to work in the same capacity as before the data breach.

If you work with Legal Expert, and your data breach claim is taken on, one of our specialist solicitors will work with you to discover the full impact of the breach. By assessing your claim thoroughly, they will try to ensure nothing is missed before the claim is filed. Please contact us right away if you’re interested in starting a claim today.

Calculate A Claim For University Of Huddersfield Data Breach Compensation

As we have shown why a university data breach could lead to compensation, we’re going to look at how much might be paid. Unlike some similar claims, the Court of Appeal decided, when reviewing Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], that compensation could be paid for injuries that have resulted from data breaches even if there have been no financial losses. Additionally, they advised that payments should be set at the same levels as personal injury cases.

Therefore, we have set out the table below which shows some example compensation amounts for psychiatric injuries that could result from data breaches. The amounts we have listed have been extracted from the Judicial College Guidelines which legal professionals often refer to when determining compensation amounts.

Psychiatric Injury
SeverityCompensation Bracket
Further Details
PTSD - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe£56,180 to £94,470
Permanent symptoms will mean the claimant won't be able to return to work or function anywhere near the pre-trauma levels.
PTSD - Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerate£7,680 to £21,730In this bracket, most symptoms will have been resolved while any that continue will be minor.
General Psychiatric DamageSevere£5,500 to £17,900
A very poor prognosis will be given in this category because treatment won't help, the victim will continue to be vulnerable and they will have trouble with coping with life, work or relationships.
General Psychiatric DamageLess severe
Up to £5,500
Similar to above with similar symptoms initially but a more optimistic prognosis will be given.

To achieve the correct amount of compensation, you will need to show exactly how you have suffered. That’s why, during the claims process, you will need to visit a local specialist for a medical assessment. In your meeting, the independent specialist will go through your medical records and assess your symptoms by asking several questions.

Once they have completed the assessment, a report will be prepared to outline their findings. The report will then be sent to your solicitor.

How Legal Expert Could Help After A Data Privacy Violation

As you’ve got this far in our guide to data breach claims against the University of Huddersfield, you might now be thinking about hiring a solicitor to help you claim. While you could read countless online reviews, ask colleagues or friends for recommendations, or scour the high street for a local law firm, we’ve got an easier method. Simply call Legal Expert’s free advice line.

When you contact us, an advisor will review your case without pressuring you into claiming. They will answer as many questions as required for free. If you decide you’d like to claim, and your case is accepted, a solicitor will be appointed from our team. They will keep you up to date with any case progress, answer any queries and explain any complex jargon that crops up. In all cases, our solicitors will try to achieve the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Why not save yourself the time it could take to search for a solicitor and call Legal Expert today? And if you’re at all unsure, why not check out some of our reviews by clicking here. Here’s what one of our clients had to say about our service:

“I felt confident in their legal experience throughout. Service like this is a comfort to those who need it at what could possibly be a difficult time.”

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

There’s no doubt that many people delay starting compensation claims because they are worried about the costs involved. To alleviate much of that worry, our team of specialist solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service for any claim they take on. That means you will find the whole claims process a lot less stressful.

At the start of the process, a solicitor will need to review your case to check whether a successful outcome appears achievable. If they are happy to take your case forward, you will receive a No Win No Fee agreement, also called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA explains how your claim will be handled and will explain that:

  • You will not be asked to pay anything upfront.
  • Any solicitor’s fees or charges won’t be payable while the claim continues.
  • If your case doesn’t result in a positive outcome, you won’t need to pay any of your solicitor’s fees at all.

If your solicitor wins the case on your behalf, they will hold on to a portion of your compensation. In the CFA, this is listed as the success fee which is used to pay for the solicitor’s work. By law success fees are capped and your percentage will be presented in the CFA so you will know how much you’ll pay when you agree to work with the solicitor.

An advisor can check if your case is eligible for our No Win No Fee service so please get in touch today.

Speak An Expert In Data Breach Claims

Thank you for reading our guide on university data breaches. If we have helped you decide to make a claim, and you would like Legal Expert to support your case, you can contact us by:

We will always be open and honest with you about your chances of receiving compensation so that we don’t waste your time. When you reach out to our team, they will assess what has happened without any obligation. You’ll receive free legal advice and if the claim appears to be feasible, you could be paired with a specialist solicitor. Remember, to reduce the financial risks involved, any claim we accept will be handled on a No Win No Fee basis.

Resources And Guides

We have now completed our article on data breach claims against the University of Huddersfield. While we have included as much information as possible, we have included some extra resources below which you might need to access during a claim. Additionally, as Legal Expert is able to help with other types of compensation claims, we’ve added more of our guides here as well. If you need any extra information from us, please do not hesitate to ask.

Data Protection Policy – An explanation of how the University of Huddersfield process personal information.

Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Details from the NHS on how they attempt to treat PTSD.

Freedom Of Information (FOI) – ICO advice on the Freedom of Information Act.

Shop Accident Claims – Advice on when our solicitors could help you claim for injuries sustained in a shop.

Whiplash Compensation – Details on what compensation could be paid for whiplash injuries.

Medical Negligence Claims – Advice on using our solicitors to help you claim for suffering caused by medical negligence.

Other Useful Guides

Guide by Hambridge

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.