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

What Could I Claim For A Breach Of Data Protection By The University Of Northampton?

If your personal data has been breached by the University of Northampton, this could lead to some unpleasant consequences, such as financial loss, and emotional distress. But did you know that if you are harmed by a data protection breach, you could make a claim against the University of Northampton if you can prove that you’ve suffered damage?

Data protection laws are in place to safeguard your personal data. If these laws are breached and this causes you harm, you could be eligible for compensation. But how do you know whether your data has been breached, and how do you go about reporting a data breach, as well as make a claim? These questions and more are answered in this useful guide.

University of Northampton data breach claims guide

University of Northampton data breach claims guide

Below, you’ll find an explanation of what could be classed as a University of Northampton data breach. We’ll also explain how breaches of data could affect you, and what types of compensation you could claim.

We also explain data protection laws in more detail and talk about how universities should protect the personal data they collect, process and store, whether the information relates to staff, students or alumni.

Finally, we’ll explain how the use of a Legal Expert data breach solicitor could benefit you, and how to get started with your claim.

If you want to ask us anything about the information in this guide, receive a free eligibility check on your case, or get started on a claim right away, you can reach our expert team on 0800 073 8804.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Northampton

Universities collect, process and store a huge amount of data, some of which includes personal information relating to its students, staff and alumni. Under data protection laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), they must protect such personal data from being breached.

If they fail to do so, and a data protection breach occurs, it could cause the victim financial or psychological harm. If it does, they could make a data breach claim against a university for compensation.

This guide has been put together for those that are considering making a data breach claim against the University of Northampton. In the sections below, we discuss what is meant by a data breach, and explain how breaches could happen.

Also included are examples of previous data breaches that affected universities, such as the Blackbaud hack, and information surrounding common cybersecurity risks that could pose a threat to universities.

In the later sections of the guide, we discuss how compensation could be calculated, and how one of our lawyers could help ensure you don’t miss out on any of the compensation you could be eligible to claim.

Remember, if you have any questions, please get in touch with our team.

What Are Breaches In Data Protection By Northampton University?

Before we explain exactly what constitutes a breach of data protection, we ought to first explain what is meant by personal data. According to the UK’s enforcer of data protection law, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), personal data could be classified as:

  • Information from which a person could be identified
  • Information that could be used in combination with other information to identify a person

Examples Of Personal Data

There are many different pieces of information that could be classified as personal data, including:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Contact information
  • Location information
  • E-mail addresses
  • IP addresses
  • Student ID numbers
  • Financial details

Some personal data could be classified as sensitive, and this should, according to data protection law, be afforded a higher level of protection. Sensitive data could include information relating to a person’s:

  • Biometric information
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious beliefs
  • Political opinions
  • Race
  • Medical information

What Is Classed As An ICO Data Protection Breach?

The ICO, as mentioned, enforces data protection laws in the UK. They class a data protection breach as an incident in which information is:

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

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

A data breach could occur due to a malicious act, negligence or a simple human error. Causes of a data breach could include incidents such as:

  • A hack
  • An e-mail being sent to the wrong recipient
  • Malware
  • Insufficient network or computer security
  • Phishing
  • Ransomware
  • Viruses
  • Loss or theft of computer equipment
  • Failing to lock away or secure physical records

Effects On Victims Of Data Breaches

You could make a data breach claim against the University of Northampton if you have evidence of how you have suffered financial damage or psychological harm. The ways in which you could be affected by a university data breach could include:

  • Loss of privacy – You may feel that your privacy has been violated, particularly if sensitive information has been exposed
  • Identity theft – If your personal information falls into the hands of a cybercriminal, they could steal your identity and use it to apply for finance or to make fraudulent purchases.
  • Financial theft – If enough of your personal information falls into the wrong hands, a criminal could use it to access your bank account, and they could take money from you.
  • Effects on your mental health – psychological effects such as anxiety, loss of sleep, depression and stress could be suffered by victims of a data breach.

Whether you’ve suffered financially or psychologically due to a university data breach, our team could assess your eligibility to make a data breach claim against the University of Northampton and could provide you with a lawyer to assist you.

What Constitutes A GDPR Breach?

In 2018, a new law came into force, created by the EU, to give the strictest privacy and security protection to our personal data. This law, the General Protection Data Regulation, or GDPR as it is commonly known as, protects the data security and privacy of any EU data subject, no matter where in the world their data is being collected, stored or processed.

The UK’s application of GDPR is enshrined in law in the form of the Data Protection Act 2018. Under this law, any data controller or data processor that collects, stores or processes data must ensure that:

  • Data is kept secure
  • The collected data is only stored for as long as it is needed for a specified purpose
  • The processing of such data is relevant, adequate and not excessive
  • The collection of personal information is specified, explicit and legitimate
  • Data that has been collected is regularly updated and accurate
  • Processing of data is fair and lawful

A breach of any of these requirements could be considered a breach of GDPR. And in such cases, the Regulation allows victims of a university data breach in the UK to claim compensation if they suffer damage (non-material or material) as a result.

How The University Of Northampton Was Impacted By The Blackbaud Data Breach

Earlier in 2020, several UK universities were affected by the Blackbaud data breach. The University of Northampton was one of those affected.

What Was The Blackbaud Hack?

Blackbaud is a company that provides customer relationship management (CRM) systems software to many different organisations, including universities.

It was subject to a ransomware attack between February and May 2020, where the perpetrator stole data from the company and demanded a ransom for the destruction of the stolen data. The subset of data that was stolen included personal data relating to Northampton University alumni, donors and supporters, as well as other universities too.

Blackbaud paid the ransom demanded of them and were confident that the stolen data had been destroyed. At the time, it was reported that no financial information was amongst the data stolen in the Blackbaud data hack. Since then, it has been revealed that some financial information may have been stolen.

Whether financial information was stolen or not, the data breach by Blackbaud may have affected victims psychologically. If you’ve had your personal data breached by Blackbaud, we’d be happy to assess your case to see if you could be eligible to claim compensation.

It’s important to note, however, that a claim would likely be pursued against Blackbaud as opposed to the university, though you should get in touch with our data breach advisers to confirm.

Source: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/about-us/services-and-facilities/records-management/data-protection-act/update-on-blackbaud/

Non-Malicious Data Breaches

While the above incident involved a malicious attack on personal data, not all data breach incidents are malicious. For example:

  • The ICO fined Greenwich University £120,000 in 2018 for a data breach affecting nearly 20,000 people due to the lack of protection afforded to a microsite that a student had created. The microsite was left unprotected online and was accessed at least once by an unauthorised user.
  • The University of East Anglia compensated students £140,000 for breaching their sensitive personal data when an e-mail containing personal information was sent in error to around 300 people. (Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-41934027)

Whether you’ve suffered a data breach by the University of Northampton due to a malicious act, negligence or human error, our team would be happy to assess your case for free to see if you could claim compensation.

Rates Of Hacks And Breaches In Data Protection At Universities

Your data may not be protected quite so well by a university as you may have hoped. A concerning report from Redscan that was put together in 2020 stated:

  • 54% of universities in the UK admitted having to report data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office in 2019 alone
  • The majority of the respondents to a Freedom of Information request revealed serious shortcomings in the universities’ abilities to prevent breaches of data
  • 46% of university’s employees were trained in security awareness
  • On average, UK universities spend just £7,500 yearly on education for their employees
  • Under half of UK universities give security training to their students

If you’re looking for more information on making a data breach claim against the University of Northampton because of a lack of security surrounding your personal data, we could help assess your case to see if you could claim.

Source: https://www.redscan.com/news/state-of-cybersecurity-uk-universities-foi-report/

Cyberattacks Affecting Universities

Common cybersecurity threats that could affect universities include:

  • Password attacks
  • Phishing – according to Redscan, this is one of the most dangerous methods of attack
  • Malware
  • Stolen data – this may not just include personal data. The NCSC believed in 2020 that organisations conducting coronavirus vaccine research were targeted by Russian spies
  • Viruses
  • Keystroke recorders
  • Ransomware

Universities should take steps to protect your personal data from such threats. If they do not, and as a result of a breach you experience psychological (distress, anxiety and the like) or financial harm, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

Ways In Which Compensation May Be Awarded

Under GDPR, compensation for a data breach by the University of Northampton could include:

  • Non-material damages – For psychological harm, such as stress, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, for example
  • Material damages – For quantifiable financial expenses caused by the breach

Vidal-Hall And Others V Google Inc [2015]

The above case set a legal precedent when it comes to claiming compensation for psychological harm caused by a data breach.

Previously, financial damage was necessary in order to claim psychological harm too. That changed in Vidal-Hall. The Court of Appeal stated that a claim could be brought for either type of harm. This means you can now claim for the likes of anxiety, stress, and depression in a data breach claim against the University of Northampton if you can prove it was caused directly by the incident.

Calculating Compensation Settlements For Data Breaches By The University Of Northampton

When calculating a settlement for a data breach claim against the University of Northampton, all the evidence would need to be examined, along with the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the case.

The evidence for the financial harm you’ve suffered could be taken from bank statements and bills, for example, but to claim compensation for psychological harm, a medical assessment would be necessary.

You would attend an appointment with an independent medical professional, who may review your notes, ask you some questions and write a medical report which gives their professional opinion on your injury and your prognosis. This could be used to work out how much compensation could be appropriate for your case.

We have put together a table below to illustrate how much compensation could be appropriate for various levels of psychological injury. The figures have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a publication that courts and lawyers could use to value a claim of this type.

InjuryGuideline Compensation BracketHow Severe?
Post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD)Up to £7,680Less severe
General psychiatric InjuriesUp to £5,500Less severe
Post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD)£7,680 to £21,730Moderate
General psychiatric Injuries£5,500 to £17,900Moderate
Post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD)£21,730 to £56,180Moderately severe
General psychiatric Injuries£17,900 to £51,460Moderately severe
General psychiatric Injuries£51,460 to £108,620Severe
Post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD)£56,180 to £94,470Severe

For a more precise estimate of the compensation you could receive, please get in touch with our data breach claims advisers.

Could A Solicitor Handle My Data Breach Case?

If you’ve been the victim of a data breach, you might wish to check the university data breach policy as it could show you what you need to do to report it. Reporting a data breach is vital in ensuring the university investigates, taking steps like data breach detection actions, conducting a data protection impact assessment and ensuring steps are taken to secure any data that could be at risk.

As well as making a data breach report to the university, you might want to think about how you could go about making a data breach claim against the University of Northampton.

While you could go ahead with this on your own, you might wish to consider using a lawyer, as you could reap the following benefits by doing so:

  • Your lawyer would know how long you’d have before your claim became time-barred and could take action within the limitation period (6 years for a data breach claim, and 1 year for a breach of your human rights)
  • Your lawyer would have the capability to take on the legal legwork when it comes to building your case
  • Your lawyer could negotiate on your behalf for the maximum possible payout for your claim
  • They could ensure you don’t miss out on any of the university data breach compensation you deserve

How Legal Expert Could Help

We recognise that choosing a lawyer to help you make a data breach claim against a university could be difficult. After all, there are so many different law firms out there offering similar services. Here at Legal Expert, we believe we would be a great choice when it comes to launching your claim. With us, you could benefit from:

  • High-quality customer service
  • A free eligibility check on your case
  • Legal Expert’s No Win No Fee lawyers
  • Expert legal advice
  • Years of knowledge and experience

If you would like to learn about what previous claimants have thought of our service, please take a look at our reviews. We believe we offer a superb service and many of our previous clients agree. Why not experience the same great service when you make your own data breach claim?

Could I Make A No Win No Fee Northampton University Data Breach Compensation Claim?

One of the benefits of using Legal Expert to make your university data breach claim is that our lawyers all work under No Win No Fee agreements. This not only means you would not pay any legal fees upfront to start your Northampton University data breach claim, but you would not pay your lawyer a penny in legal fees if your claim was not successful.

The No Win No Fee claims process generally works as follows:

  • You would receive a Conditional Fee Agreement (formal title for a No Win No Fee agreement) from your lawyer. This would set out the terms of your agreement, including how much of a success fee you’d be asked to pay from your total payout when it came through. The fee is legally capped at a low level and makes up a percentage of the total settlement.
  • Once you’d signed and returned the agreement document, the solicitor could start working on your claim.
  • When your compensation had been arranged and paid, the solicitor’s success fee would be deducted, and the balance would be for your benefit.
  • If no compensation payout was achieved, you wouldn’t settle the success fee or pay your lawyer’s costs, either.

If you have questions about making a claim in this way, feel free to contact our expert team for further advice and guidance. Alternatively, you could read our in-depth No Win No Fee guide to learn more about the benefits of claiming under these terms.

Speak To An Expert In Data Breach Cases

Whether you’d like to benefit from a free eligibility check on your case or have questions about making a data breach claim against the University of Northampton, why not get in touch? We’d be glad to help you in any way that we can, and we could even provide you with a data breach solicitor so you could get started with your claim right away. To contact us, simply:

Where To Learn More

Cloud Computing – Here, the ICO explains how organisations could offer data breach protection if using cloud computing systems.

Getting Help With Anxiety – This useful guidance from the NHS shows how you could seek support for anxiety, fear or panic.

Your Data Rights – Here, the ICO answers some frequently asked questions about data protection after Brexit.

Stress Caused By A Data Breach – Here, we explore the issue of data breach distress in more detail, and explain more about making a claim.

How Long Might I Have To Claim?– We touched on limitation periods earlier in this guide. To find out the limitation periods for different types of claims, why not take a look at this guide?

Lost Data – Can I Claim? –  This guide explains more about claiming for a loss of personal data.

Thank you for reading our guide to making a data breach claim against the University of Northampton.

 

Guide by Jeffries

Edited by Billing

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