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University Of Hull Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

Guide by Edward Robinson. Last Updated 1st February 2021. In this article, we will look at why data breach claims against the University of Hull might be required, what harm a personal data breach might cause and when data breach compensation could be payable.

You might not realise it but universities need to keep hold of a lot of personal information about its staff, students and sometimes alumni. The information is often required to help the university function properly, but new data protection rules mean that steps need to be taken to keep that information safe.

Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Hull

Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Hull

Data privacy rules changed when The Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) were introduced. Both pieces of legislation mean that any organisation who wishes to keep personal data (the data controller), needs to ask permission from the individual involved (the data subject).

They also mean that measures need to be introduced to try and stop any data getting into the wrong hands. If the laws are broken, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) could issue a massive financial penalty to the responsible party. Moreover, you could begin your own legal action to claim compensation for any harm caused by a data breach.

Legal Expert is able to help if you are thinking of claiming. Our team of friendly specialists will review any case without obligation and offer free legal advice on your claim. Should the claim appear to be feasible, they could connect you with one of our data breach solicitors. Any claim taken on by our team will be conducted on a No Win No Fee basis to reduce any financial risk to you.

If you would like to talk to us today about starting a claim, please call 0800 073 8804 right away. Otherwise, please carry on reading to find out more about university data breach claims.

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A Guide On Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Hull

When you fill out any type of form these days, whether that’s online or a piece of paper, you will see sections relating to how your personal information is used. That’s because, under the GDPR, any data controller has to inform a data subject about how their information will be used, stored, and when it could be shared.

Additionally, they need to get permission before doing so. The method used to gain your permission that you’ll usually see will either be tick boxes or pop-up boxes on some websites.

It is vitally important that once your data privacy preferences have been obtained, they are adhered to. For instance, if you use your email address to sign up to a website but you don’t specifically agree to receive marketing emails, any organisation who uses your details in that way may have broken the law.

Another part of the GDPR relates to data security. If personal information is leaked during a data breach, the data controller could be fined by the ICO for breaking data protection laws and you could also start a compensation claim if you are harmed in any way.

If that’s the road you wish to go down, you will usually need to start your claim within 6-years. Cases that revolve around a human rights breach only have 1-year to be started, though so you should bear that in mind. We would usually suggest that the sooner you begin your claim the better. That’s because it will probably be easier to remember the effects of the data breach and your solicitor could find it easier to obtain evidence to support your case.

If you’d like free advice on proving data breach claims against the University of Hull, please call our team today.

What Is A Data Breach By The University Of Hull?

The documentation that sets out the GDPR is 88-pages long. Within it, you’ll find several key definitions including one for a personal data breach. It is defined as a security issue that causes personal data to be lost, destroyed, altered, disclosed or accessed in ways that a data subject hasn’t authorised previously.

The breach doesn’t have to relate to computer problems like ransomware, viruses, keyloggers, phishing emails or hackers, it could also relate to personal records held on physical documentation. The ICO could fine an organisation for a data breach regardless of whether the cause was accidental, deliberate or illegal.

If a data breach takes place, the data controller must begin an investigation. They then need to identify any data subject who could be put at risk and let them know that the breach has happened. Also, they need to tell them when it took place and the type of data that was accessed. The ICO should also be informed at this point.

If you believe that you have suffered because of a data breach involving your personal information, please feel free to contact our team. An advisor will assess your claim without obligation and could pass it on to one of our data breach solicitors.

What Constitutes A Breach Of The GDPR?

The GDPR lists a number of principles relating to data processing which data controllers need to show compliance with. They include:

  • Making sure that processing of personal information is legal, fair and transparent.
  • Informing the data subject of the reason why their data is required.
  • Only collecting a minimum amount of data.
  • Not storing personal information for any longer than necessary.
  • Ensuring that data processing methods are secure and confidential.
  • Keeping any personal information which has been stored up to date.

Should you suspect that the data security principles above have not been followed, and that has resulted in a data breach in which you were harmed, please contact an advisor today to check if you’re eligible to be compensated.

Which Universities Have Been Impacted By A Data Breach?

Now we are going to show some case studies about university data breaches. The first affected the University of Hull when one of its service providers was hacked.

Blackbaud is a provider of database management systems to the higher education sector. They provide software which many universities use to manage relationships with their alumni. During early 2020, Blackbaud realised that their backup servers had been illegally accessed and a subset of data had been downloaded.

The hackers made a ransomware demand and Blackbaud had to inform several customers, including some British Universities, of the breach. As the rules require, the universities then informed anybody who was at risk of the breach and what actions they should take.

In this case, Blackbaud went against the advice of law enforcers and paid the ransom so that the data was destroyed.


In another case, the University of Greenwich had a £120,000 fine issued to them by the ICO. The reason was that a historic website used to support a training event in 2004 was hacked and accessed by multiple attackers.

The website, which contained personal details of around 20,000 people, should have been secured or destroyed after the training event, but wasn’t. The ICO issued the fine because, even though the university was not aware it had been created, it should’ve had organisational or technical procedures in place to prevent this type of security issue from occurring.

How Many Universities Have Been Impacted By Data Breaches?

Even though we have shown you how university data breaches have occurred in recent years, you might be thinking that they’re not really that common. However, a recent study by a network security firm has produced some interesting statistics. They include:

  • Training budgets for staff data safety and awareness were just £7,529 per university per year.
  • 46% of staff in universities had not received any data safety training in the last 12-months.
  • 27% of universities had never asked an external firm to conduct penetration testing on their network.
  • 49% of universities don’t offer any data safety training to students.
  • Over half of the respondents had self-referred themselves to the ICO because of data breaches in the past 12 months.

The study was based on responses from 86 universities in the UK.

Study details:

Stopping Criminal Cybersecurity Theft

As shown in the previous part of this guide, the number of data breaches involving universities seems to be increasing. Without any additional effort, this trend will continue and could result in serious harm to those affected by a breach. In this section, we’re going to look at some industry guidelines on what could be done to help prevent further data breaches. They include:

  • Ensuring data protection policies are up to date.
  • Making sure that any computer systems have the latest security patches applied.
  • Training all students and staff on data safety measures.
  • Using external companies to test the security of the university campus and network to spot any flaws before criminals do.
  • Using encryption on portable devices so the data they contain can’t be accessed if lost or stolen.

While the cost of these steps might seem off-putting, they could prevent the university from receiving a fine by the ICO. In addition, they could prevent the harm that data breaches often lead to.

Types Of Compensation You Could Be Awarded

When you claim for a university data breach, it’s not as easy as just saying how much money you want to be paid. Your claim will usually be split into two parts: material and non-material damages. The first element covers financial losses while the second strives to ensure you are compensated for any illness or psychological injuries you’ve sustained.

Something that is really important is the fact that you are only allowed to make a single compensation claim. This means you need to include all elements of your suffering in your claim, including any future suffering that might arise.

For instance, while you might claim for financial losses that you have already sustained, there might be additional losses in the future. This may be the case if your private data is used in an identity theft crime that has affected your credit rating. When that happens, you might find it more expensive to take out loans, credit cards or mortgages in the future.

Similarly, if you have suffered from depression, anxiety or stress because of the data breach, it may mean you will continue to suffer in the future. Therefore, an independent medical specialist could review your symptoms and look at how your relationships, ability to work or ability to cope with life, in general, will be affected.

Due to the complexity of these types of claims, we would always advise having a legal professional on your side. One of our data breach solicitors could review your claim thoroughly with you to try and make sure every aspect of your suffering and future suffering is considered before your claim is submitted. Therefore, why not contact us today to have your claim reviewed for free by a specialist advisor?

Hull University Data Protection Breach Claims Calculator

We are now going to review how much compensation could be awarded in data breach claims against the University of Hull. We should point out that it is possible to claim compensation for cases where you have suffered psychological injuries even if you have not lost out financially.

That’s different to some compensation claims and was decided by the Court of Appeal when hearing the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015]. To clarify matters, the Court also stated that compensation for psychological injuries should be valued at the same level as personal injury claims.

Please review the table below to see some example amounts that could be paid in data breach claims for some relevant psychological injuries. The figures come from a document used by courts and legal professionals when settling cases called the Judicial College Guidelines.

Type of Injury
Level of SeverityCompensation Range
Additional Notes
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Severe£56,180 to £94,470
The claimant won't be able to sustain previous levels of functioning, a return to work will be impossible and the symptoms will be permanent.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Moderate£7,680 to £21,730This category covers cases where most symptoms have been resolved and any ongoing issues won't be serious.
Psychiatric DamageSevere£51,460 to £108,620
In this category, treatment is unlikely to help, the patient will remain vulnerable, work, relationships and life, in general, will be almost impossible to cope with.
Psychiatric DamageLess severe
Up to £5,500
This category differs from above as there will be a more optimistic prognosis (even though symptoms will be similar initially).

It is very important that you prove the exact nature of your suffering as severity is the main factor considered when deciding which bracket your claim falls into. To do this you’ll need to attend a local medical assessment as part of the claims process. An independent specialist will consider any medical records available to them and discuss your symptoms with you. Once they have completed the assessment, they will write down their findings in a report that will be sent to your solicitor. As the medical report is so important, we should point out that medical assessments are mandatory in all cases.

How Do I Choose A Solicitor For My Damages Claim?

If you have absorbed the knowledge in this article on data breach claims against the University of Hull and decided that you’d like to start a case, you might now want to select a solicitor to represent you. Doing so can be time-consuming even if you ask a friend to recommend a solicitor, read online solicitor reviews or choose the solicitor who is based nearest to you.

Rather than following those steps, you could just make one call to Legal Expert. Our team provide completely free claims advice and will review your case for free. If your claim is accepted, you will be partnered with one of our specialist solicitors. They have the skills to explain any complex legal terms clearly and they will provide regular updates on any progress with your case. Ultimately, your solicitor will strive to win the maximum compensation for your claim. For more on our services, why not check out our reviews.

Please contact our team today to ask any questions you might have about how Legal Expert could help you.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Hull University

From our years of experience handling compensation claims, we realise that the main thing that prevents a case from starting is that the claimant is worried about losing money. That’s why any claim taken on by our solicitors is processed on a No Win No Fee basis. By working on this basis, you’ll find the claim less stressful because your financial risk has been reduced considerably.

Before beginning to work on your case, a solicitor will check that it has a fair chance of success. If they agree to take the claim on, when you’re ready to start you will be given a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to review (another term for a No Win No Fee agreement). This document is a contract that is used to fund your case. The CFA will point out how your claim will progress and it will also state that:

  • No money will be requested upfront.
  • You won’t be asked to pay anything while the case progresses.
  • If the claim doesn’t work out in your favour, there will be no solicitor’s fees to pay.

In the event that your claim is won, your solicitor will keep a small percentage of your compensation award to cover their costs. This is listed in the CFA as a success fee. Legally success fees are capped, and the percentage payable will be set out in clear terms in your No Win No Fee agreement, so you will understand how much you’ll pay from the start.

Why not ask an advisor if you are eligible to claim on a No Win No Fee basis by calling the number at the top of the page today?

Contact A Data Breach Lawyer

We are fast approaching the end of our article about data breach claims against the University of Hull. If you’ve read the information and decided that you would like Legal Expert to represent you in a compensation claim, you can get in touch by:

When you start a claim with Legal Expert, we’ll be honest about your chances of success so that we don’t waste anybody’s time. You’ll receive free legal advice from a specialist who will review the points of your case with you. If they are of the opinion that the case could be won, you might be referred to one of our specialist solicitors. Should the case be taken on, it will continue on a No Win No Fee basis.

Data Breach Claim Guides

We hope that this Legal Expert article about data breach claims against the University of Hull has helped you understand your rights. In our final section, you will find some links to additional resources which you may need during your claim. Additionally, we have linked to some more of our guides to show what other types of compensation claims we’re able to help with. Should there be anything else you need to know, please contact our team today.

Obtaining Your Personal Data – Information provided by the ICO about how to file a subject access request (SAR).

Anxiety UK – A UK charity who aim to support anybody who suffers from anxiety and related conditions.

Data Protection At The University Of Hull – The university’s data protection notice.

Falls At Work – Shows how our solicitors could support you through an accident at work claim.

Car Accident Claims – Information on starting a claim for injuries sustained in a road accident caused by another driver.

Care Home Injuries – Details on claiming for injuries in a care home that were caused by negligence.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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