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

How To Claim For A Data Breach Against The University Of West London

Data breach claims against the University of West London could be justified if you can prove that you have suffered either mental or financial damage as a result of a privacy violation.

Legal Expert can establish whether you have grounds to seek data breach compensation by assessing your case in a free, initial, no-obligation consultation.

University Of West London data breach claims guide

University Of West London data breach claims guide

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that organisations that collect data have ‘reasonable’ security in place. The measures should protect personal data and ensure privacy is not exposed.

If you are a student, alumni, a member of staff or connected to the university in some other way, your personal information would have been collected, processed, and stored. Therefore, the university must follow data breach law.

Our guide to seeking data breach compensation provides advice and information on how a data breach might occur. We go into the consequences of a data breach, and we cover your rights to sue under the law. You will find information on compensation payouts for data breach claims and the sort of damages you could seek.

You will find advice on how a data breach must be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). We also provide information on how a No Win No Fee solicitor from our team could act on your behalf when you make a data breach claim.

For more information on the justifications behind data breach claims against the University of West London, please continue reading our guide. If you have any questions, please call one of our expert advisers on our freephone number 0800 073 8804.

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A Guide To Data Breach Claims Against The University Of West London

Universities are often targeted by cybercriminals because many higher education institutions are known to carry out sensitive research. Therefore the number of cyber-attacks on universities is alarming. Whether it is phishing emails or ransomware attacks they have to deal with, the consequences can be devastating, not only financially but psychologically too.

If you are negatively impacted by a university data breach, you have the right to seek compensation. Our guide explains what a data breach is, how this type of breach could occur, and the consequences it could have on you. We explain how all “data controllers” must keep your data safe, and if they fail in their duty, you could have grounds to sue.

In addition, we cover your ‘rights’ under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). Our guide explains how a university can be fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if they do not abide by data protection law. Lastly, you will find information on how No Win No Fee agreements work, and how one of our specialist solicitors could offer you these terms.

Data Breach Time Limits

There are time limits to making data breach claims which are explained below:

  • 6 years from when you are made aware of the data breach
  • 1 year if your human rights are affected by a breach

Therefore, it is far better to seek legal advice sooner rather than later when making a data breach claim. This is especially true as this type of claim can be complex, and gathering evidence can take up time. If you wait too long, you may find your case is time-barred. In short, even if you have strong grounds to seek data breach compensation, you may have missed the deadline.

A member of the Legal Expert team will answer any questions you have about data breach claims against the University of West London. As such, please call one of our advisers on the freephone number shown at the top of the page.

What Is A Data Breach At The University Of West London?

A data breach is defined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as follows:

A breach in security that impacts confidentiality, integrity, or availability of personal data

To clarify, a data breach does not have to be a cyber-attack. It can involve physical files being accessed without permission too. Any sort of breach could result in:

  • Loss of personal data
  • Theft of personal information
  • Accessibility is compromised
  • Data is shared with other people without permission
  • Personal information is corrupted or altered

Causes of Data Breaches in Universities

As previously mentioned, universities are targets for phishing emails, ransomware, and other forms of cyber-attacks. A breach in security could occur because of:

  • A mistake made by a member of staff
  • Malicious acts
  • Negligence
  • Hackers
  • Malware
  • A virus
  • Spyware
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
  • Data sent to incorrect recipients
  • Computer theft
  • Vulnerabilities in cyber-security
  • Physical files containing personal data not being locked away

The Role of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

The Information Commissioner’s Office is the authority that enforces data breach law in the UK. The definition of personal data according to the ICO is:

Information/data of a personal nature that identifies an individual. This can be directly or indirectly

When you are connected to the University of the West of London, the sort of personal data collected, processed, and stored may include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email information/IP address
  • Medical information
  • Financial data
  • Sensitive data, like your medical history, race, gender and sexuality.

If you can prove that you are the victim of a data breach, you have the right to seek compensation if you have suffered mental or financial damage. Legal Expert can assist by explaining when data breach claims against the University of West London could be valid.

In addition, we provide a free, initial consultation and you do not have to continue with a claim if you choose not to. You can reach a member of our team on the freephone number at the top of the page to discuss your potential case today.

Do Universities Have To Follow The GDPR?

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enacted into UK law when the Data Protection Act 2018 came into effect. The legislation allows for more control over how data controller’s collect, store, and process personal data.

Specifically, there are seven key principles that data controllers must follow. These are:

  • Data minimisation
  • Purpose limitation
  • Lawfulness, transparency, and fairness
  • Accuracy
  • Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  • Accountability
  • Storage limitation

A university collects, processes, and stores the personal data of everyone connected to the facility. Therefore, they are data controllers and as such, a university must abide by data protection law. Whether your personal data was breached accidentally or intentionally, you have the right to make a claim for compensation.

To find out more about the justifications behind data breach claims against the University of West of London, please get in touch today. One of our expert advisers will provide you with free legal advice on whether you have grounds to sue for compensation or not.

Which Universities Have Been Impacted By Breaches In Data Protection?

The cloud service provider Blackbaud was targeted by cybercriminals with ransomware in 2020. Unable to access their files, the firm paid an undisclosed amount to the perpetrators of the cyber-attack. A number of universities were affected by the attack, with staff, alumni, students, and other people having their data accessed in the incident.

The universities affected by the Blackbaud data breach included:

  • Exeter
  • York
  • Oxford Brookes
  • De Montford
  • Strathclyde
  • Birmingham
  • London
  • Reading
  • Loughborough
  • Leeds
  • University College, Oxford

If you’ve been impacted by the Blackbaud hack, a claim against the firm could be justified if you’ve suffered mental or financial damage as a result. In this circumstance, a claim would not be pursued against the university.

To learn more about your legal rights, please get in touch.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53528329

 Accidental Data Breaches at Universities in the UK

A data breach does not have to be intentional or malicious. To explain, a breach can happen accidentally too with an example being:

  • The University of East Anglia paid out more than £140,000 in compensation to students following the accidental transmission of a spreadsheet that was sent to 300 wrong recipients. The spreadsheet contained student personal data about health issues and bereavements

To find out if you have grounds to make a data breach claim, please contact a member of our team on the freephone number at the top of the page.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-51284352

University Data Protection Breach Statistics

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can levy fines against organisations (data controllers) found to be in breach of data protection law. The maximum penalty can be as high as £17.5 million, or 4% of the annual global turnover, whichever is the greater. As such, universities should have up to date cybersecurity to prevent a breach from happening. Sadly, this is not always the case, with cyber criminals having more sophisticated tools to crack cybersecurity these days.

Recent studies and surveys have found that universities in the UK are sorely lacking when it comes to security awareness. As such, a high number of serious breaches have occurred in the last few years, one of which resulted in the following:

  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined Greenwich University the sum of £120,000 in 2018 for non-compliance to data breach law. The fine was issued because a breach occurred due to a microsite not being shut down securely. This allowed cybercriminals to take advantage of the site’s vulnerabilities which meant they gained access to other areas of the university’s system. Around 3,500 records and 19,500 contact details were breached in several incidents as a result

The ICO 2020 Data Breach Report

The (ICO) published a recent report covering the period between July 2020 and September 2020. The report showed that 336 data security incidents had occurred in that time frame. The causes of the breaches included:

  • 29 ransomware attacks
  • 24 phishing emails
  • 27 events of personal data being sent to wrong recipients
  • 8 unlawful accesses
  • 15 times when personal data was lost or left in insecure places

The Redscan Data Breach Survey

The security firm Redscan ran a survey into university data breaches which found:

Of the universities that responded to a Freedom of Information request (86 in all) over half reported a data breach in a 12 month period

If you have evidence that the university was in breach of data protection law, please get in touch today to benefit from free legal advice. A member of the Legal Expert team will assess your case in a no-obligation, initial consultation.

Source: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/over-half-of-universities-suffered

Criminal Breaches In Cyber-Security

Following a survey and a report into a university’s cybersecurity, it was found that many higher education institutions lack the investment to prevent and deal with breaches in their security. The type of cyber-attacks universities have to confront include:

  • Ransomware
  • Phishing emails – considered the more dangerous cyber-attacks
  • Malware
  • Spyware
  • Data theft
  • DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service attacks)

To speak to an adviser and find out if you can sue for data breach compensation, please get in touch today on the freephone number below.

Types Of Compensation Awarded For Breaches In Data Protection

A breach of your personal data could leave you feeling vulnerable and open to all sorts of attacks. You could start receiving strange and dangerous phishing emails, or you could be the victim of identity theft and fraud. The consequences can leave you suffering mental harm.

Data protection law allows you to claim both material and non-material damages. Material damages relate to your financial losses and non-material damages relate to the mental harm you suffered.

In the next section, we’ll take a look at claims for mental damage in more detail.

To successfully recover compensation for financial damage, you’ll need to assemble evidence of all the harm inflicted. This could be bank statements showing money taken from your account, correspondence from banks relating to credit you did not take out, or your copies of your negatively impacted credit rating.

To benefit from free legal advice, please contact a member of our team today. An expert adviser will explain when data breach claims against the University of West London would be valid in a no-obligation, initial consultation.

University Data Breach Compensation Awards Calculator

A data breach claim that was heard in the Court of Appeal established a significant legal precedent. The Court ruled that claimants have the right to seek compensation for mental harm even in the absence of financial damage.

The case was Vidal-Hall and others vs Google [2015] and the ruling means you can now claim compensation for psychiatric harm alone. Therefore you do not have to be the victim of financial loss in order to claim data breach compensation.

When a solicitor, court, or insurance provider calculates a compensation payout, the following would be taken into consideration:

  • The seriousness of a data breach and how it impacted your health and well-being.

In short, the severity of the psychiatric or psychological harm you suffered could be factored into the amount you are awarded in data breach compensation.

The table below provides a rough idea of how much you could receive in a successful data breach claim. Please note, the amounts are given as a guideline only.

Psychiatric or psychological harmSeverityDetailsGeneral damages awarded taken from the Judicial College Guidelines
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevereThe compensation paid out factors in negative impact a data breach has on a claimant's well-being and how serious their symptoms are£56,180 - £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerate - severeClaimant has PTSD but the symptoms less severe than explained above. The compensation paid would factor in how a claimant's life and mental health is affected by a breach£21,730 - £56,180
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerateA claimant develops moderate PTSD symptom but the prognosis is more positive£7,680 - £21,730
Psychiatric harm/mental anguishSevereA claimant develops severe symptoms associated with psychiatric harm. This affects their ability to work or to lead a normal life as they did before the breach£51,460 - £108,620
Psychiatric harm/mental anguishModerate - severeA claimant experiences similar symptoms to those above. However, the prognosis is slightly better. Their ability to work and to lead a normal life improves with time£17,900 - £51,460
Psychiatric harm/mental anguishModerateA claimant experiences similar symptoms to those but the prognosis is better. Work-related stress may be a problem claimants have to deal with£5,500 - £17,900
Psychiatric harm/mental anguishLess seriousThe compensation paid out factors in how a claimant's well-being, life, and mental health are impactedUp to £5,500

The amounts detailed in our table are based on the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). For a more accurate idea of how much data breach claims against the University of West London might be worth in a successful case, please call an adviser today.

Selecting A Solicitor Specialising In Data Breach Claims

You do not have to get in touch with a firm of solicitors local to you if you want to make a data breach claim. You could choose to represent yourself. However, this type of claim is often complex, and it can be challenging to prove liability. As such, it is always a good idea to seek legal advice before going ahead with a claim.

This means finding the right lawyer to represent you. The best route is to check out a solicitor’s reviews which you can do online. Reviews past claimants have left Legal Expert shows our track record in securing great results for our clients.

The benefits of choosing to work with our data breach solicitors include:

  • All aspects of your data breach claim will be expertly handled from the beginning of a case to its conclusion

Over the years, our solicitors have successfully handled all sorts of claims. Furthermore, our solicitors have the experience necessary to negotiate with insurance providers to ensure you receive the right compensation payout.

To benefit from free legal advice on data breach claims against the University of West London, please get in touch with a member of the Legal Expert team today.

No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Against The University Of West London

An adviser will provide free legal advice on whether you have grounds to sue for data breach compensation when you get in touch. Furthermore, once we have determined you have a strong case, we will introduce you to our solicitors. The solicitor will offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.

To explain, when you accept the terms, the solicitor can begin work on your claim without asking you to pay any upfront or ongoing fees. If your claim fails, you won’t be asked to pay any of your solicitor’s fees.

If the claim is a success, your solicitor will deduct a small fee, called a success fee, which is capped by law. This is designed to cover their costs in representing you.

To find out if you can make a No Win No Fee data breach claim, please contact a member of the Legal Expert team on the freephone number below.

Talk To Our Expert Team

To learn more about data breach claims against the University of the West of London, please speak to a member of the Legal Expert team today.

Related Claims Services

Check out our other guides by clicking on the links provided below.

A Guide to No Win No Fee Claims:

The No Win No Fee Process

A Guide to Claiming Crown Prosecution Service Data breach Compensation:

A Guide to Crown Prosecution Service Data Breach Compensation 

How to Claim NHS Data Breach Compensation:

Guide to NHS Data Breach Claims

Links to external data breach guides:

Your Rights Under the GDPR and the DPA 2018:

The Data Protection Act

How to Complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO):

Make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

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

Guide by Wood

Edited by Billing

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