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

My Information Was Exposed In A Southampton University Data Breach Claim?

The University of Southampton is home to some 22,000 students and around 6,000 staff. To help manage that number of people, it’s inevitable that the university will need to keep hold of a lot of personal information. The issue that can arise is that the type of data they hold can be valuable if it ends up in the wrong hands. Data security has never been so important and so, in this article, we are going to look at when data breach claims against the University of Southampton might be justifiable.

University Of Southampton data breach claims guide

University Of Southampton data breach claims guide

In recent times, laws regarding personal data have been strengthened. You have probably heard of the GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation to give its full name. It became legally binding after The Data Protection Act 2018 was enacted into UK law. The idea behind these new laws is to provide individuals (or data subjects) with better control over how and why their information is used.

There now needs to be a lawful reason behind the processing of personal information. Additionally, data controllers (the organisations using your information) need to try and secure it to prevent data leaks. Data controllers suspected of breaching the law can be investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). If found guilty, they could face massive financial penalties.

If you have suffered following a university data breach, you might be able to claim compensation. That’s where we can help. Our team offer a no-obligation consultation of your claim. They’ll provide free legal advice and if your claim appears suitable could connect you with one of our data breach solicitors. Should your claim be accepted, it will be managed on a No Win No Fee basis.

Please call 0800 073 8804 to begin your claim or carry on reading to find out more.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against The University Of Southampton

It is becoming more and more common to see GDPR privacy policies during daily activities. You might see one when shopping online, registering with a new dentist, visiting a website or when enrolling at a university. Typically, we dismiss pop-up boxes and checkboxes relating to data protection but the information they contain is important. That’s because they are telling you what an organisation wants to do with your personal information. If you don’t check, you may find your details being shared with others that you don’t know about.

As well as informing you about how your information will be used, it’s often the case that the data controller will need to seek your permission to use it. Also, they are prohibited from using personal data in a way that you have not authorised.

The GDPR rules explain that personal data needs to be stored securely to try and prevent it from being exposed. If data protection rules are broken, the data controller may face an ICO investigation and a potential fine. That process doesn’t mean you will be compensated though. The only way that will happen is if you sue the organisation yourself.

When starting university data breach claims, you should be aware of the 6-year time limit, which runs from the date you obtained knowledge of the breach. Also, if your claim centres around a breach of human rights, the time limit reduces to just 1-year.

If you are contemplating starting a claim, our advice is to seek legal representation as early as possible. By doing so, you could improve the chances of obtaining evidence that will support your claim. Additionally, you might find it easier to discuss what happened and how you have been affected.

Please feel free to call our team to discuss your potential case at any point while reading this guide.

What Are Data Breaches By The University Of Southampton?

It is common to associate the GDPR with cybersecurity issues. Some examples include ransomware demands, phishing emails, hacking, malware, key loggers and spyware. However, the GDPR covers all personal data whether it is stored digitally or physically.  To highlight that point, a pharmacy in London was fined by the ICO after it left customer medical records in unlocked containers at the back of its property.

A breach of data protection rules is defined in the GDPR documentation as a security incident that leads to personally identifiable data being accessed, lost, destroyed, altered or disclosed in unauthorised ways.

While deliberate and illegal acts that lead to data breaches can be investigated by the ICO, so can accidental causes. When a breach is spotted, the data controller has a legal obligation to investigate. Furthermore, the ICO needs to be informed. If the investigation highlights a risk to a data subject, they need to be informed about the:

  • Cause of the breach.
  • The time it occurred.
  • Data that was exposed.

If you can prove that you are the victim of a personal data breach, why not request more information on claiming from our team?

General Data Protection Regulations Applicable To Universities

All data controllers, such as universities are required to show that they comply with several principles relating to data processing. They include:

  • Ensuring compliance with the law when processing data and using methods that are transparent and fair.
  • Explaining why personal information is required before it is processed.
  • Processing should be confidential and secure.
  • Personal information should not be retained for longer than necessary.
  • Only the minimum data should be processed.
  • Personal information must be kept up to date.

The type of information that is covered by the GDPR includes:

  • Data that can directly help to identify a data subject. This could include names, student numbers, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.
  • Information that could indirectly help to identify somebody. Examples in this category include data about disabilities, age, ethnic origin or sexuality.

If a data breach occurs because the rules have not been followed and you can show this was the case, you could be eligible to claim compensation. If you would like free advice on making a claim or have any questions about doing so, please contact an advisor today.

What Data Breaches Could Happen In Universities?

The Information Commissioner’s Office keeps a register of data breaches it has investigated. At the time of writing, there have been no incidents recorded relating to the University of Southampton. Therefore, in this section, we’ll look at a breach that has caused problems for many universities up and down the country.

The breach was a ransomware demand made to a company called Blackbaud who provides a cloud-based database used by many universities. It is often used to manage relationships with previous students.

The company found that some of their backup data had been exposed and downloaded illegally by hackers. Once the ransom had been demanded, the company contacted any customers who might be at risk. As such, the universities involved released statements to let anybody who may have been affected know what to look out for.

In this case, the company took the unrecommended action of paying the ransom so that the hackers would destroy the information they held. Initially, the company said that no password or bank information was included in the breach. However, they had to admit that that was possibly the case in a regulatory filing.

If you’ve been affected by the Blackbaud hack, it’s worth noting that a claim may be made against that firm directly as opposed to the university. However, it’s always worth seeking legal advice, which you can get for free from our data breach claims advisers. Simply call us on the number at the top of this page.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54370568

Rates Of Breaches In Data Privacy In Higher Education

We are now going to spend a little time examining a report from an IT security company about university data breaches. Their information provides an insight into the challenges educational establishments face regarding data security. The stats reveal that:

  • Only 46% of the universities who responded had not needed to inform the ICO about a data breach in the last year.
  • 8% of respondents had actually had more than five breaches during that year.
  • Just 12% said they have an external penetration test four times a year. Alarmingly, 27% said they hadn’t had any.
  • The annual budget for training staff on data safety was £7,529 per university on average.
  • Just 54% of staff had been offered data security training within the last year.

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

Stopping Breaches Of Cyber Security Universities

The type of data held by universities is highly sought after by criminals. They can use it in identity theft crimes or to extort money from individuals, as we’ve seen above with Blackbaud. As well as the personal issues criminal activity can cause, it could cause a university to be fined by the ICO.

So, how can they reduce the risk of data breaches in the future? Well, some steps might include:

  • Keeping IT devices patched with the latest security fixes.
  • Encrypting hard drives so that data on portable devices is not accessible if lost or stolen.
  • Training staff and students regularly on how to keep data safe.
  • Hiring an IT security company to conduct regular penetration tests of the IT infrastructure.
  • Carrying out regular reviews of the university’s data protection policy.

Importantly, as well as staff and student data, the university may need to keep an eye on data used in research projects if it contains sensitive data.

Examples Of Ways In Which You May Be Compensated

The process of making data breach claims against the University of Southampton can be tricky. Not only do you need to claim for the suffering that has already occurred, but you will also need to think about what might happen in the future. That’s because after you have settled your claim, you aren’t able to submit another even if you are affected later on.

To start calculating the value of your claim, you will usually look at how you’ve been affected. The starting point is by examining your finances, also known as material damages. That is compensation used to cover costs and financial losses that you’ve suffered following the data breach.

As well as noting money you’ve already spent or lost, you may need to detail future losses too. For example, if your personal information has been sold on the dark web to criminals, you may find that it will continue to be used in criminal activities for some time.

Next, you’ll look at non-material damages. This is the compensation you could claim for the psychological harm caused as a result of the data breach. Initially, the claim will be based on conditions you’ve already had diagnosed. This could include anxiety and stress.

During your claim, you’ll need to undergo a medical assessment to prove the extent of your suffering. If this highlights that you might carry on suffering in the future, with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, for instance, this will need to be considered too.

As you can see, a lot goes into a claim. Therefore, we strongly advise that you instruct a specialist data breach solicitor to work for you. If one of our team is appointed, they’ll use their experience to look at all aspects of your suffering. To find out more about how we could help you, please call the number at the top of this page today.

Southampton University Data Breach Compensation Calculator

We will now move on to discussing potential compensation amounts for data breach claims. We should point out that while we have listed some example amounts below, every case is different. Therefore, to receive a more personalised estimate, it’s a good idea to let one of our advisors assess your case for free.

The Court of Appeal has provided some guidance on data breach claims. In the case, Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], they held that:

  1. Compensation can be sought for psychiatric injuries in cases where no money has been lost—a departure from the previous position in which some financial harm was required in order to claim for mental implications.
  2. Any settlement in relation to psychological problems should be based on amounts paid in personal injury cases.

Therefore, we have listed some settlement figures for psychiatric injuries in the table below. We have taken these figures from a document used by lawyers and insurers in personal injury claims called the Judicial College Guidelines.

Injury TypeLevel of SeveritySettlement RangeFurther Information
Psychiatric Damage (general)Four main tests that are used for psychiatric injury claims : 1) The victim's ability to cope life in general, work or education; 2) The prospect of treatment helping; 3) Impact on the victim's relationships; 4) The medical prognosis.
Severe£51,460 - £108,620The claimant will have serious issues with all factors leading to a very poor prognosis.
Moderately Severe£17,900 to £51,460The claimant will suffer significantly with all factors but there will be more optimistic prognosis.
Moderate£5,500 to £17,900The claimant will probably have suffered with all four factors but a good prognosis will be given because of the significant recovery that has already been seen.
Less SevereUp to £5,500The settlement is based on how long the victim suffered and how long daily activities such as sleep were affected.

As evidence is needed to prove the extent of your suffering, you’ll need to undergo a medical assessment as part of the claims process. Our data breach solicitors usually arrange these with an independent medical specialist based locally to you.

During your meeting, the specialist will carefully review your medical notes. They will also discuss the impact of your injuries with you. The idea here is to try and understand how you have already suffered and whether you might continue to do so in the future. Following the appointment, the specialist will file a report with your solicitor, who’ll use it as evidence to prove your case.

Explaining The Compensation Claim Process

Now that you’ve read about data breach claims against the University of Southampton, you might be thinking about appointing a solicitor to your case. Choosing one might seem tricky, though. Do you trawl through solicitor reviews, ask a friend to recommend one or choose the nearest law firm?

Alternatively, we can make things easy for you. If you call our advice line, they’ll answer any questions you have about claiming for free. You are also entitled to a no-obligation assessment of your case. Following the review, if your case is strong enough, we could connect you with one of our data breach solicitors. If the case is taken on, your solicitor will:

  • Explain the claims process to you.
  • Be available to answer your questions throughout the duration of your claim.
  • Give you updates about the progress of your case.
  • Arrange your local medical assessment.
  • Deal with the defendant’s lawyers or insurers for you.
  • Aim to achieve the maximum compensation possible in your case.

If you would like to discuss your case or ask any questions, why not contact our data breach claims team today. Any legal advice we give is free even if you don’t proceed with your case.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against Southampton University

For many people, the fear of paying large amounts of money to hire a solicitor stops them from beginning a compensation claim. If you choose Legal Expert, though, you don’t need to worry so much. That is because we provide a No Win No Fee service for any claim that we accept. Therefore, you could get access to one of our experienced data breach solicitors without as much financial risk.

Before your claim is accepted, it needs to be considered by a solicitor. If they are happy to take your claim on, and when you’re ready to proceed, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) will be drafted for you. This is the formal name for a No Win No Fee agreement. The CFA tells you what the solicitor will need to do before they are paid. Also, your CFA will show you that:

  • Your claim can start quickly as there are no upfront charges.
  • We won’t ask you to pay any solicitor’s fees while your claim is ongoing.
  • Should your claim not succeed, you won’t need to pay the solicitor’s fees at all.

The only time you’ll need to pay your solicitor is following a successful claim where you have been compensated. If that happens, a success fee will be deducted from your compensation award. The success fee is a small percentage of your compensation. The exact percentage you’ll pay is listed in the CFA. Importantly, the fee is legally capped.

Why not reach out to our team today to see if you’re able to claim on a No Win No Fee basis?

Talk To An Expert About Your Claim

You have almost completed our article about data breach claims against the University of Southampton. Hopefully, you are now at the point where you’ve decided if you’ll begin a claim or not. To contact us about a university data breach claim, you can:

  • Call and speak to a specialist advisor on 0800 073 8804.
  • Send in an email about your claim. Our address is info@legalexpert.co.uk.
  • Ask an online member of our team for free guidance in live chat.
  • Complete our claim form so that we can contact you when it’s convenient.

When you contact us, an advisor will run through everything with you. They will review the merits of your claim with you and give free advice on your options. If they believe that your claim has strong grounds, they could connect you with one of our data breach lawyers. Remember, any claim that we take on will be funded by a No Win No Fee agreement. So that we don’t waste anybody’s time, we will be honest and open about the likelihood of winning your case.

Related Information On Claims

Thank you for visiting our site and reading this guide about data breach claims against the University of Southampton. To help you further, we have added some links to external articles that might help you when you are claiming.

University of Southampton Privacy Policy – The policy explaining how the university could use your personal information.

Identity Theft – Guidance on what signs to look for that might alert you that your personal details are being used by criminals.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – NHS advice on the symptoms and causes of the anxiety disorder PTSD.

Finally, we have included a list of our other guides which might be useful to you in the future. If you would like us to provide any additional information, please get in touch today.

Proving Lost Income – Information on what evidence you will need to supply to claim for lost earnings.

NHS Negligence Claims – Free legal advice on when you might be eligible to sue the NHS for negligence.

Whiplash Compensation – This article explains what amount of compensation might be paid for whiplash injuries.

Thank you for reading our guide to data breach claims against the University of Southampton.

 

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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