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University Of Lincoln Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

Organisations, such as universities, that control and process personal data have certain laws they must abide by when it comes to protecting that data. If you’re looking into making data breach claims against the University of Lincoln then it could be because your data was sent in error to someone who should not have been given it, or because the university has been the victim of a cyberattack, for example.

This guide has been created to show you how, if you can prove that you’ve been emotionally or financially affected by a University of Lincoln data breach, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

University of Lincoln data breach claims guide

University of Lincoln data breach claims guide

In the sections that follow, you can learn more about what a data breach is, how it could happen and how you could be affected by it. We also give you some examples of how universities have breached the personal data of staff, students and alumni in the past, focusing particularly on the Blackbaud hack.

In addition to this, we explain how university data breach compensation could be calculated and why using a lawyer could help maximise your payout.

If you’d like to ask us anything about the information contained in this guide, or you’d like our help with advice on data breach claims against the University of Lincoln, we’d be happy to help you. You can reach our expert advisers on our freephone helpline, 0800 073 8804.

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A Guide On Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Lincoln

All data processors and controllers in the UK, including universities, must abide by data protection laws. They must take steps to protect your personal data under laws such as the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), which enacts into UK law the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), the strongest data privacy and security law in the world.

There are several ways in which a university could work to protect your data, including ensuring they have a robust cybersecurity system in place, offering security awareness training to staff and students, and having a university data breach policy in place to act quickly if a breach should happen.

However, sometimes things go wrong. If Lincoln University fails to adhere to data protection laws, and your personal data is breached, this could cause you to suffer financial or emotional harm. If you can prove that you’ve been affected in this way, you could be eligible to make data breach claims against the University of Lincoln.

This guide explains what could cause a Lincoln University data breach, and how it could happen. We also give you guidance on how to check your eligibility to claim, as well as providing insight into the compensation you could receive for a University of Lincoln data protection breach. We hope you find this guide helpful.

What Is A Data Breach By Lincoln University?

As we mentioned, there are certain data protection laws that must be adhered to by the processors and controllers of personal data. These include the Data Protection Act 2018, which replaced the Data Protection Act 1998 in order to bring it into line with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations.

All of these laws are meant to protect the privacy of your personal data. If these laws are breached, and you can evidence that your privacy has been violated, you could be eligible to make data breach claims against the University of Lincoln for the harm you’ve suffered due to the breach, whether this is financial or psychological harm. But what is a data breach and how could a University of Lincoln data protection breach harm you?

What Is Personal Data?

Firstly, let us explain what is meant by personal data. As stated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which enforces data protection legislation in the UK, personal data is information relating to natural persons, which:

  • Could, on its own, identify a person
  • Could, in combination with other information, identify a person

Examples of personal data could include names, addresses, contact details, IP addresses and identification numbers, as well as financial information.

Data Breaches Explained

The ICO data protection breach explanation is fairly simple. If personal data is:

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

This could be classed as a data breach.

Data breaches could happen accidentally, or due to negligence. They could also happen due to malicious acts by cybercriminals. Some examples of data breach causes could include:

  • A ransomware attack
  • A hacking
  • Malware or viruses
  • Theft or loss of computer equipment with personal data on it
  • Negligence of network security maintenance
  • Employee errors (for example, a member of staff could send personal data to the wrong e-mail address)
  • Insufficient computer security provision

How Victims Of A University Of Lincoln Data Breach Could Be Impacted

Exposed data could lead to a number of unpleasant consequences for the victims of a university data breach in the UK. These consequences could include:

  • A loss of the victim’s privacy – if sensitive personal data is exposed, this could be classed as a privacy violation
  • Identity theft – if data protection issues lead to a third party gaining access to your personal data, they could use such data to commit identity fraud. This could mean that a cybercriminal could assume your identity in order to make purchases or apply for credit in your name.
  • Financial theft – if someone has enough of your data to access your bank account, they could steal money from it.
  • Psychological harm – If you’ve been the victim of a data breach, you may lose sleep over it, and it could cause you to suffer anxiety and distress.

Whether you’ve suffered material (financial) or non-material (psychological) harm due to a university data breach, if you can prove that you’ve suffered damage, you could be eligible to make a data breach claim against the University of Lincoln.

If you’re not sure whether you could have a claim, please call our team and we’ll be glad to offer you a free case assessment to see if you could be eligible for compensation.

General Data Protection Regulations For Universities

The Data Protection Act 2018, as we mentioned before, enshrines in law the application of the world’s strongest data security and privacy law, the GDPR. It requires all organisations that control, store and process data, including universities, to make sure:

  • The processing of personal data is lawful and fair
  • The collection of personal data is explicit, specified and legitimate
  • The processing of personal data is relevant, not excessive and adequate
  • Data is kept accurate and up to date
  • Data is not kept for any longer than necessary
  • Data is processed securely

A breach of these requirements could lead to the Information Commissioner’s Office taking enforcement actions against organisations. These may include heavy fines. The UK’s application of GDPR also means that those suffering non-material or material harm caused by a data breach could make data breach claims against the University of Lincoln.

How Could A University Be Affected By Breaches In Data Protection?

One of the most widely reported data breaches that have affected UK universities is the Blackbaud data breach, which occurred in the early half of 2020.

Blackbaud, a company that provides databases services, was the target of a ransomware attack. Data was stolen by hackers, who said they would destroy it if the company paid a ransom. Blackbaud paid the ransom and was confident that the data stolen had been destroyed.

While no financial data was said to have been breached, the personal details of staff, students and alumni at the below UK universities were breached:

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


Other University Data Breaches

Not all university data breaches are caused by malicious actions, however. In 2018, Greenwich University received a fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office of £120,000 due to a breach of nearly 20,000 people’s data caused by a student’s microsite, which was insufficiently protected.

In addition to this, the University of East Anglia had to pay substantial compensation when an e-mail containing their personal data was sent in error to around 300 students. (Source –

University Data Protection Breach Statistics

While the University of Lincoln cybersecurity systems may be robust, it may surprise you to know that the majority of universities responded to a Freedom of Information request in 2019 revealed that they had reported a data breach to the ICO that year, according to a report by IT Governance.

Not only did the report reveal that over 50% of respondents had reported a breach, but that over half of the universities’ staff had not been given security awareness training either.

Perhaps more worryingly, in tests conducted by Jisc in 2019, testers were able to access dozens of university systems in under two hours.


Attacks Against Universities By Cybercriminals

University of Lincoln security systems should be in place to protect from common threats towards universities, which could include:

  • Keystroke detectors – These could record the keystrokes of authorised users in order to steal login information.
  • Malware attacks – Malware attacks could not only lead to personal data being accessed, stolen, transmitted, disclosed or altered, but cybercriminals that perpetrate such attacks could use the systems accessed as a platform for other cyber attacks.
  • Theft of information – Stolen information could be valuable in the wrong hands. Not only could this include the personal data of students, staff or alumni, but the research material universities collect could also be very valuable to cybercriminals. In fact, according to reports, the National Cyber Security Centre believed that some organisations conducting research into COVID-19 vaccines were targeted by spies from Russia.
  • Phishing – According to a report by Redscan, this is one of the most dangerous methods that cybercriminals could use against universities. Fake websites are set up to look genuine, and authorised users are directed to enter their login details to what looks like a genuine site, which then allows a cybercriminal to access systems they are not authorised to use.
  • DDoS attacks – Distributed Denial of Service attacks could effectively lock authorised users out of systems containing their data.
  • Password attacks – if cybercriminals are able to guess passwords using computer programs, they could gain access to systems.

Whether the data breach you’ve been harmed by was the result of any of the above malicious attacks, or as the result of a university’s negligence or employee’s error, we could help you. Simply call the number at the top of this page to learn more.

How The Victim Of A Data Breach Could Be Compensated

Data protection laws allow for victims of university data breaches to claim for non-material and material harm caused by a University of Lincoln data protection breach. Data breach claims against the University of Lincoln could therefore include compensation for:

  • The financial impact of the breach – if you’ve had money stolen from you, for example, you could claim compensation for this.
  • Emotional distress, anxiety, depression and other psychological impacts of the breach

Claiming Compensation For Psychological Harm Inflicted By A University Of Lincoln Data Breach

A legal precedent was set in 2015 that allows victims of data breaches to claim compensation for any psychological impact of a breach. The case we refer to is Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015].

Prior to Vidal-Hall, a claimant needed to show financial damage in order to make a claim for psychological harm. The Court of Appeal changed that position. Now, it’s possible to make a data breach claim for either form of damage. To help value psychological impacts, the Court recommended that lawyers turn to personal injury law for guidance.

Calculating How Much University Data Breach Compensation You May Be Owed

When making data breach claims against the University of Lincoln, all evidence and facts surrounding the case must be assessed. Evidence that could help you claim for the financial impact of a data breach could include bank statements, credit ratings and credit card bills, for example.

However, calculating compensation for any non-material damages, in terms of the psychological effect of the university data breach could be a little more complex. You would need to see a medical expert so that they could assess your psychological injuries and write a report verifying the harm you’ve suffered and giving details of your recovery. This report would then serve as evidence in your case and used by your solicitors to come to a settlement amount.

To give you some insight into compensation payouts for psychological injuries, we’ve produced a table with figures from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines. This publication could be used to help determine an appropriate value for a claim for injuries suffered as the result of a breach.

Psychological DamageHow SevereJCG Compensation Brackets
General psychiatric damageSevere£51,460 - £108,620
Post-traumatic stressSevere£56,180 - £94,470
Post-traumatic stressModerately severe£21,730 - £56,180
General psychiatric damageModerately severe£17,900 - £51,460
Post-traumatic stressModerate£7,680 - £21,730
General psychiatric damageModerate£5,500 - £17,900
Post-traumatic stressLess severeUp to £7,680
General psychiatric damageLess severeUp to £5,500

If you’d like a more specific valuation, we’d need to learn more about your case. So call us on the number at the top of this page to find out more.

How Do You Find The Right Lawyer For Your Case?

If you’re looking into making data breach claims against the University of Lincoln, you could choose to take a look at the university data breach policy to see if there is any specific information that might help you. You could then write to the University of Lincoln data protection officer with your complaint and ask them to investigate. If you do not receive a satisfactory answer, you could escalate your complaint to the ICO.

However, many people opt for legal assistance when making a university data breach claim. This could be because:

  • They do not want the stress that could be involved in pursuing a claim on their own
  • They want to ensure that any limitations and restrictions are adhered to (for example the limitation period that applies to such claims; 6 years for a breach of data and 1 year for a breach of human rights)
  • They want to ensure they do not miss out on compensation they could have been entitled to claim
  • They want to maximise the compensation payout they receive
  • They know that if the lawyer works under No Win No Fee terms, they don’t have to pay until their claim is successfully settled

Whatever the reason you choose to look for legal assistance with making your claim, we’d be glad to help you. We are aware that we are not the only firm offering to help with data breach claims, but we truly believe that the services we offer could help you get the maximum payout for your claim. By choosing to work with Legal Expert, you’ll benefit from:

  • Free advice and eligibility checks
  • High-quality customer care
  • Years of experience in helping claimants successfully claim compensation
  • Legal Expert’s quality No Win No Fee lawyers

You only have to read our reviews to get an idea of how pleased previous claimants have been with our service. We’d be glad to help you with yours.

No Win No Fee Data Protection Breach Claims Against The University Of Lincoln

Making a No Win No Fee data breach claim against the University of Lincoln could be a great option for you. With No Win No Fee claims, there is no requirement for you to pay anything upfront when you begin your claim. Instead, you’d be sent an agreement, known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, to sign and return to your lawyer so that they could take on your case under these terms.

The agreement would dictate how much of a success fee you’d pay your lawyer once they’d arrange compensation for you. The success fee is a small proportion of your total payout and is only payable in cases where compensation is arranged. If you didn’t receive a payout, you would not be liable for the success fee, and you would not be required to pay your No Win No Fee solicitor’s costs, either.

To learn about No Win No Fee claims in more detail, you could take a look at our guide here. If you have any questions you’d like to ask us over the phone, we’d be glad to help.

Get In Contact With Us About A Data Breach

To get expert assistance with data breach claims against the University of Lincoln, all you need to do is get in touch. You can reach us in a number of ways, including:

We look forward to assisting you with your claim.

Learn More About Your Data Rights

In our final section on this guide to data breach claims, we’ve included some extra links you may find useful.

Action Fraud – Action fraud’s website contains useful information about reporting data breaches and cybersecurity attacks.

ICO – Accountability – Here, you can read more about data protection governance and accountability.

NCSC Advice – Here, you can read advice to help protect your personal data and your technology.

Claiming For Cases Of Data Breach Distress – We have produced a detailed guide explain data breach distress and showing you how you could claim for it.

Maximising Payouts – Our guide to the evidence you might need to ensure you get all the compensation you are eligible for can be found here.

Lost Personal Data – If your personal data has been lost, this could lead to a number of unwelcome consequences. Find out whether you could be eligible here.

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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.