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University Of Liverpool Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

If you’ve been financially or psychologically affected by a data breach by the University of Liverpool, you may be wondering if you’re able to claim compensation. Here at Legal Expert, we have put together this guide to provide important information about making data breach claims against the University of Liverpool, explaining the legislation that protects your data and how a breach could lead to the justifications for pursuing a case.

University Of Liverpool data breach claims guide

University Of Liverpool data breach claims guide

Personal data breaches could have a number of negative effects on a person, not just from a financial perspective. If you’ve experienced stress and anxiety over a University of Liverpool data breach, there’s no need to suffer in silence. We explain more about the steps that can be taken to right your situation in the sections below, along with giving you information on how data breach compensation payouts are calculated and what evidence is needed to support such a claim.

If you’d like to begin a claim right away or to get a free, no-obligation eligibility check, we can help. All you need to do is call our freephone helpline on 0800 073 8804 and we’d be glad to assist you. You can also write to us here or chat with us now via our live chat, bottom right.

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A Guide On Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Liverpool

Universities hold and process the personal information of many people, and must, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) take steps to protect that personal data.

They may have several systems in place to help them do this, from a robust data protection policy and anti-virus software to providing information security awareness training to their staff, students and alumni. But what happens if a data security incident occurs, and you suffer a privacy breach, causing you financial loss or stress? In such circumstances, provided you have evidence, data breach claims against the University of Liverpool could be justified. This guide has been created to answer these questions and many more.

In the below sections, we discuss how a university could be affected by a data breach, and how it could impact students, staff or alumni. We also look at examples of breaches that have affected universities in the past, such as the Blackbaud data breach, and give examples of the types of compensation you could claim if you’ve been affected. We also give you some guidance on finding legal support to help you in your fight for compensation.

Remember, if you have any questions, just get in touch.

What Are Data Breaches By Universities?

Before we explore data breach claims against the University of Liverpool in detail, we should first explain what personal data is, how it could be breached, and how a breach of data security could affect a person.

What Is Personal Data?

Personal data is, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office:

  • Data that could identify a person on its own
  • Data that could, in combination with other data, identify a person

There are lots of pieces of information that could be classed as personal data, including:

  • A person’s name
  • Their identification number (Student ID number, for example)
  • Location data
  • Online identifiers, such as IP addresses and cookie identifiers

What Is A Data Breach?

A university data breach, according to ICO data protection breach guidance, could include a security incident that involves personal data being:

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

How Could A University of Liverpool Data Breach Happen?

Data breaches may result from malicious acts such as:

  • A hacking
  • A cyberattack such as the Blackbaud breach, which involved ransomware
  • A computer virus
  • Malware
  • Phishing attacks
  • Theft of computer equipment that contains personal information

However, they could also stem from mistakes or negligence by the university, such as:

  • An employee sending an e-mail to the wrong address
  • Poor maintenance of cybersecurity systems
  • Insufficient network security, as well as physical security, like locked doors.
  • The loss of computer equipment that contains some personal data

How Could A Data Breach By The University Of Liverpool Affect A Victim?

There are many different ways in which a University of Liverpool data protection breach could affect a victim, including:

  • A privacy violation – A person whose data was hacked may feel that their privacy has been violated, especially if sensitive information about them was accessed during the hack.
  • Identity Theft – If a data security breach has led to a third party gaining access to personal information, they could use that information to commit identity theft, applying for finance or making purchases in the victim’s name.
  • Emotional distress – If personal data has been breached, it could cause the victim to feel distressed about what could happen to their data.
  • Financial theft – A person could use breached personal information to access a victim’s bank accounts, effectively enabling them to take money from the victim.

Whether you’ve been affected financially or emotionally by a university data breach in the UK, current legislation could allow you to claim compensation. We’d be happy to check your eligibility to claim. If we believe your case has a good chance of success, we could connect you with one of our No Win No Fee data breach solicitors who could help you claim the compensation you deserve.

Data Protection Regulations Affecting Universities

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), which enshrines in law the UK’s application of the General Data Protection Regulation created by the EU, has been put in place to protect the privacy and security of subjects’ personal data.

It requires universities, like other organisations that process and store data to ensure:

  • Processing of personal data must be fair and lawful
  • The collection of personal data must be legitimate, specified and explicit
  • Processing of data must be relevant, adequate and not excessive
  • Data processed must be kept up to date and accurate
  • Any data processed must be kept for no longer than is necessary
  • Data processed must be processed securely

This legislation is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK. Breaches of legislation could lead to ICO investigations and enforcement actions, which could involve the university being fined.

If you’ve been affected by a university data breach that you believe has violated this legislation, you could be entitled to compensation. To learn more about data breach claims against the University of Liverpool, get in touch with our team or read on.

How Could A University Be Affected By A Data Breach?

Unfortunately, like many organisations, universities are not immune from the risk of a data breach. Here, we look at some examples of previous data breaches that have affected them.

The Blackbaud data protection breach

In the early part of 2020, it was revealed that a database company, which services several UK universities, had been the victim of a ransomware attack. The universities affected included:

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

It was thought that the data of staff, alumni and students was breached in the attack. While no financial details were said to have been obtained, and the data held by the hackers was said to have been destroyed following the payment of a ransom, personal identifiers such as the names, dates of birth, contact information and genders of many people may have been subjected to unlawful access.


Greenwich University Fined

In addition to the Blackbaud hack, Greenwich University was fined £120,000 in 2018 by the Information Commissioner’s Office after a microsite created by a student was compromised. It was thought that 19,500 people’s personal data was breached, with 3,500 people suffering a breach of sensitive data such as sickness records and learning difficulties.

Statistics On Breaches Of Data Protection At Universities

While the University of Liverpool cybersecurity policy may be robust, many universities do not have adequate security protocols in place to protect them from breaches, that’s according to a report by IT Governance.

The report uncovered that just over half of all universities that responded to the Freedom of Information request had made reports of data breaches to the ICO in 2019.

In addition to this, in 2019, university internet provider Jisc conducted security tests on university’s systems, resulting in them being able to access over 50 university networks within the space of just 2 hours.


Criminal Cybersecurity Breaches

As universities store and process a lot of information concerning research and development, as well as personal data, they could be targeted by many different types of attack, including:

  • Theft of data – This could affect personal data, or research and development data. Universities conduct many studies, and some of these could be quite valuable to cybercriminals. For example, it was reported that the National Cyber Security Centre believed organisations researching coronavirus vaccines had been targeted by Russian spies.
  • A password attack – password guessing attacks could result in unauthorised users being able to gain access to systems using authorised users’ details. Universities could highlight the importance of regular password changing, especially after a data breach detection.
  • Malware – Malware (including ransomware) and viruses could lead to the access, transmission, loss or theft of personal data. They could also allow for university systems to be used as a platform for further attacks.
  • Keystroke detectors – If an authorised user inputs login credentials into a system with a keystroke detector installed upon it, this could allow someone to gain the login credentials of an authorised user.
  • Phishing – According to A Redscan report, phishing (creating fake sites set up to look like genuine sites to obtain information) is the most dangerous method of attack.
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks – This could lead to victims losing access to their own data.

Whether your data has been breached because of one of the above threats, or your data has been breached in a different way, if you can prove your case, we could help. To learn more about data breach claims against the University of Liverpool, get in touch on the number at the top of this page.

What Compensation May Be Awarded For A Breach Of Data Protection Rules?

Data protection legislation allows victims of data breaches to claim compensation for both the financial and the psychological harm they’ve suffered because of the breach. Data breach compensation could include:

  • Non-material damages – This relates to the mental impact of your loss of privacy, such as stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
  • Material damages – Relating to the financial harm of a data breach, these could include any fraudulent purchases made in the victim’s name or money stolen from them.

Claiming For Mental Harm

If you’ve been affected psychologically, such as suffering anxiety, stress or depression because of a data breach, you might be interested to learn that you could claim for this impact.

A legal precedent was set in Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] which changed data breach claims significantly. In the past, it was necessary to prove financial loss in order to recover compensation for mental harm. That changed in Vidal. Now a claim can be brought for psychological harm alone.

And to guide us on how to value this aspect of the claim, the Court of Appeal recommended that lawyers turn to personal injury law.

Calculate How Much Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Liverpool  Could Be Awarded

Data breach claims against the University of Liverpool, or any organisation for that matter, require evidence. When it comes to quantifiable financial expenses, bank statements, credit card bills and other financial documentation could be used for this. But how could you evidence the psychological impact?

Evidencing Psychological Injury

If a data breach by the University of Liverpool has caused you anxiety or emotional distress, and you intend to include psychological injuries in a data breach claim, you would need to undergo an assessment by a medical expert in order to verify and assess the extent of the psychological harm you’d suffered.

The expert would put a report together, which could be used as evidence and could help your solicitor to hone in on an appropriate value for your data breach claim.

To illustrate the different levels of compensation amounts injuries could attract, we’ve compiled the below table using figures from the guidelines of the Judicial College.

Psychological Injury Severity Approximate Compensation Bracket
General psychiatric damage Less severe Up to £5,500
Post-traumatic stress disorder Less severe Up to £7,680
General psychiatric damage Moderate £5,500 to £17,900
Post-traumatic stress disorder Moderate £7,680 to £21,730
General psychiatric damage Moderately severe £17,900 to £51,460
Post-traumatic stress disorder Moderately severe £21,730 to £56,180
Post-traumatic stress disorder Severe £56,180 to £94,470
General psychiatric damage Severe £51,460 to £108,620

For a more precise estimate of your potential data breach payout, we’d need to know more about your case. Simply call us on the number at the top of this page to chat with our team.

Finding A Solicitor To Handle Your Data Protection Breach Case

If you believe you’ve been the victim of a university data breach, and want to make a complaint, you might want to read the university data breach policy to see if there is information in there that could help you. You could also write to the ICO and ask them to investigate if the response you receive from the university is not satisfactory.

Although it isn’t a legal requirement to use the services of a lawyer when you make a data breach claim, we would advise you to consider your options carefully. There are certain benefits to be had from working with a data breach solicitor, including:

  • A lawyer would be aware of any restrictions and limitations with regards to claiming (for example, the limitation period for data breach claims is 6 years, while for a breach of human rights it would only be 1 year)
  • A solicitor could take on all the complexities involved with building a case against the university. This could make claiming much less stressful for you.
  • A lawyer would have the capability to make the strongest case for compensation and could ensure that you didn’t miss out on anything you could be eligible to claim.
  • If you work with a lawyer under a No Win No Fee agreement, you would only have to pay them if your case was successful, and only at the end of your claim.

Finding A Lawyer

We are aware that there are lots of firms that could help you with data breach claims against the University of Liverpool, and it could be quite difficult to decide which option to go for. However, we believe we represent a great choice when it comes to finding legal support to help you with your claim. The benefits of using our services include:

  • Top-quality customer service
  • Experienced team of No Win No Fee data breach solicitors
  • Great reviews that reflect our dedication to our clients.

Even if you’re not sure whether you’d be eligible to make a claim, or you have further questions about making data breach claims against the University of Liverpool, we’d be happy to help you.

We offer free, no-obligation advice and eligibility checks. And, if we believe you could have a valid claim for compensation, we can connect you to our specialist data breach solicitors who will fight for the payout you deserve. Why not give us a call to find out more?

Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Liverpool On A No Win No Fee Basis

If you want to make a claim for a data breach by the University of Liverpool, but would prefer not to pay for legal assistance upfront, we’d be happy to help you. Our lawyers operate on a No Win No Fee basis, which means you don’t pay any of their costs unless they achieve a successful outcome.

In order to begin a No Win No Fee claim, your lawyer would have to send you a contract, which you’d need to sign before your lawyer began work on your case.

This agreement would dictate a success fee (a small, legally capped percentage of your payout) which you’d pay at the end of your claim if compensation was secured for you. You would only pay this fee if the lawyer negotiated compensation for you.

Once the signed agreement had been received by your lawyer, they would begin to work on your claim. Once your payout had been secured, your lawyer would deduct their success fee and you’d benefit from the rest. If your case was, for some reason, unsuccessful, you wouldn’t pay the fee, nor would you be asked to cover any expenses incurred by your lawyer while they pursued your claim.

We have created a guide to help you understand more about No Win No Fee data breach claims, which you can read here. If you’d like to ask us any questions, you can call us at any time.

Talk To An Expert Today

It’s easy to get in touch with us here at Legal Expert. Whether you’re ready to start your data breach claim, or you’d like to ask us about your eligibility or the claims process, you can reach us by:

Learn More About Your Data Rights

In this last section, we’ve included some related guides and resources you may find useful.

Action Fraud – If you want to report a cyber attack, Action Fraud’s guidance could be useful.

Data Protection Governance – You can find out more about accountability and governance for data protection on the ICO website.

Cyber Aware – The National Cyber Security Centre gives advice about being cyber aware.

Data Breach Stress – We have produced a handy guide that covers data breach distress in more detail.

How To Maximise Your Payout – We have also produced a guide that covers the important information and evidence that could be required to maximise your payout.

Claiming For Data Loss– Has your personal data been lost? Find out how to claim here.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

This completes our guide to data breach claims against the University of Liverpool. Thanks for reading.

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    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      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.

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