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Walsall Council Data Breach – Compensation Claims Guide

This guide will provide you with a basic understanding of what you could do if a data breach at Walsall Council occurred. Also, we will examine what makes a data breach claim valid, and we will also outline the claims process. Simply put, this guide will examine the eligibility criteria for making a data breach claim.

data breach at Walsall Council

Data Breach at Walsall Council claims guide

Your case will be based on unique circumstances. It will share similar characteristics to other data breaches, but will not be precisely the same. Because of this, we understand that all of your questions might not be answered in this guide. Therefore, you can reach out to our advisors on 0800 073 8804.

Our expert advisors could also connect you with our solicitors if you have a favourable claim. However, you won’t be under any obligation to proceed with this service. Additionally, our advisors give free legal advice and are available 24/7, so what’s to lose by getting in touch?

Select A Section:

  1. A Guide On How To Claim Should A Data Breach At Walsall Council Occur
  2. How Commonly Could People Be Affected By Data Breaches?
  3. What Could Be A Data Breach At Walsall Council?
  4. What Is UK GDPR Compliance?
  5. Types Of Personal Data Breaches Affecting Councils
  6. Data Breaches In Housing And Social Services
  7. How Do I Report A Data Protection Breach?
  8. How To Claim For A Data Breach At Your Council
  9. Damages For A Data Breach
  10. How Could Compensation For A Data Breach At Walsall Council Be Calculated?
  11. Data Breach At Walsall Council: No Win No Fee Claims
  12. Find Breach Of Data Protection Solicitors For Your Case
  13. Talk To A Solicitor
  14. Useful Links For Claimants
  15. Data Breach Council FAQs

A Guide On How To Claim Should A Data Breach At Walsall Council Occur

Have you been psychologically and/or financially affected by a data breach due to a data controller, those who collect personal data, failing to keep your personal information secure? If so, this guide aims to help you.

This guide begins with some background information. We have added a graph that provides a breakdown of the frequency of different types of data incidents in central government. There is then a brief description of what a data breach could entail. Additionally, this part of the guide defines the types of data that must be protected. Also, the applicable laws are introduced.

In the next section, we examine how a council should comply with data privacy laws. We demonstrate how your personal data could be put at risk if the data controller does not comply with these laws.

We then continue with exploring the reporting, complaint, and claims process for a data breach. Furthermore, we discuss some of the financial considerations related to making a claim. In addition to an example compensation table, we have included an overall discussion of the rationale for claiming damages in the first place. We explore how No Win No Fee agreements work, with a particular emphasis on the fee structure.

Toward the end of this guide, we provide some general advice on the benefits of a good data breach lawyer and how to file a claim. Lastly, we include a simple FAQ section and some useful links at the end of the guide.

Who Is Eligible?

It’s important to note that not every council data breach will mean those who had their data leaked will qualify for compensation. In order to make a successful data breach claim, you have to be able to demonstrate the data controller failed to put procedures in place to protect your data.

Time Limits For Claims

It is important that you file a claim within the applicable timeframe. Additionally, this time limit will be determined by the circumstances surrounding your claim. For example, the time limit for claims could be:

  • Six years.
  • One year for claims against a public body, such as a council.

Call our advisors to discuss your case. You’ll then be informed of which time limit should apply.

How Commonly Could People Be Affected By Data Breaches?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) holds organisations that process personal data accountability and fines those that do not adhere to legislation. Notifiable data breaches are also recorded by the ICO, and a register is maintained of them.

In the below graph, we show some of the common causes of central government data incidents, using information from data security incident trends. The graph reflects reports of breaches in regards to non-cyber incidents, made to the ICO in the first quarter of 2021/22.

Data Breach Reasons

What Could Be A Data Breach At Walsall Council?

Generally, in the UK, local authorities are required to comply with rules and regulations related to personal data privacy and security when processing personal information.

Personal information or personal data is anything that could help identify you. For example, your name, address or banking details are examples of this.

A personal data breach occurs when a security incident leads to personal information being lost, accessed, destroyed, disclosed or changed unlawfully. It can be deliberate or accidental.

Councils should take steps to ensure the safety of your personal data. So, is it possible to make a claim if you can show the council failed to protect your personal data? Do you need to show that you suffered financially or psychologically as a result? Our advisors can advise you about these questions as each case is unique.

Laws That Apply

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU regulation. However, the Data Protection Act 2018 is the UK’s implementation of the EU GDPR. The Act has now been altered and sits alongside the UK GDPR. When collecting, storing and processing personal data, the council should comply with the applicable laws.

Personal Data

Personal data needs to be protected under the UK GDPR. The umbrella term ‘personal data’ means information that can be used alone or in combination with other information to identify you. This could be your name, address, telephone number, email address, or financial details for example.

Special category data is a type of personal data. Specifically, it is:

  • information that reveals your race or ethnic origin;
  • information that reveals your political opinions;
  • biometric information (when used for the purpose of identification);
  • information that reveals your religious or philosophical beliefs;
  • information that reveals your trade union membership;
  • genetic information;
  • information about your health;
  • information about your sex life; and
  • data about your sexual orientation.

What Is UK GDPR Compliance?

In order to prevent a personal data breach, the data controller should follow all applicable rules and regulations. Additionally, the organisation should embrace the seven core principles of the UK GDPR. This is what they are:

  1. Processing and collecting personal data in a transparent, fair, and legal manner.
  2. Keeping your personal data for a limited period of time (storage limitation).
  3. Securely and safely handling personal information (integrity and confidentiality).
  4. Setting a limit on how much personal information is stored (data minimisation).
  5. Purposes for processing personal information (purpose limitation).
  6. Taking responsibility for all data-related activities (accountability).
  7. Maintaining accurate and up-to-date data (accuracy).

In the next section, we look at how a potential data breach at Walsall Council could occur. If you need further assistance, our advisors can help.

Types Of Personal Data Breaches Affecting Councils

Councils usually store and process a great deal of personal data as employers as well as a body providing services to residents. Data breaches can happen for many different reasons. If a data controller has done all they can to protect your data then if a breach occurs you would be unlikely to claim. That said let’s now look at potential scenarios for data breaches;

  • Physical records containing personal information aren’t correctly disposed of, meaning they can be accessed unlawfully.
  • Staff members accidentally send your personal information in an email to someone who doesn’t have a lawful reason to access it.
  • An employee who has access to your personal data and then discusses it (identifying you) with an unauthorised third party outside of work.
  • Cybercriminals take advantage of cybersecurity vulnerabilities to access your personal data.

If you have suffered financial loss and psychological harm as a result of a data breach why not call our advisors they can offer you free advice and assess the merits of your case. They are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The advice is free and there is no obligation to proceed.

Data Breaches In Housing And Social Services

When you are a council housing tenant a lot of personal information is collected in order for you to be able to access the service appropriately. Much of this information will be classed as personal and therefore needs protecting. If there was to be a data breach that leaked such information it could be in the form of one of the examples below;

  • Your personal information is shared because it is not redacted when sent to unauthorised personal.
  • An employee of social services accesses personal information regarding you or your family but they don’t have a lawful reason to access it.
  • Your rent statements contain personal information and are left unsecured on a laptop that is lost.
  • Poor cybersecurity leads hackers to successfully steal personal information from online systems.

If you are thinking about making a data breach claim it is really important to have evidence to back up your reasons for the data controller being liable. As we have said data breaches can happen for many different reasons and in some of those cases the data controller will not be liable. Call our advisors now to see how best to proceed with the information you have.

How Do I Report A Data Protection Breach?

In the event that you have been the victim of a personal data breach, then you can take a couple of steps before deciding on whether you could make a claim. It may be beneficial to take these steps, but they are optional.

The first place you can turn to is the council. You can ask if there was a data breach, whether your personal data was compromised, and you can raise any further concerns about it. There may be a case of a false alarm if your personal data was not compromised. Or the council may be able to resolve the issue with you.

Also you may report a data breach to the ICO. However, you’d need to do this within three months of a council’s final response on the matter. Waiting longer can impact the ICO’s decisions on how to act.

It’s important to note that the ICO can’t provide you with compensation. To receive that, you’d need to make a data breach claim.

If a data breach at Walsall Council was to occur we can help. Why not call us if you need free legal advice?

How To Claim For A Data Breach At Your Council

What is the process for making a data breach claim?

You could:

  • Try to resolve the matter with the organisation.
  • Gather evidence such as bills that show financial losses caused by the data breach and emails from the data controller confirming your personal data was compromised.
  • Then you have the option of reporting it to the ICO
  • Seek legal advice.

Though you don’t need to use the services of a solicitor to claim, we believe that legal professionals can prove to be valuable support. They can guide you through the process and negotiate with the other side.

For more information on the claims process, please feel free to contact our advisors. An advisor will review your claim with you for free. After your consultation, they will offer you some advice.

Damages For A Data Breach

If your claim for data breach compensation is successful you can claim two separate types of damages;

Firstly, you could be compensated for psychological harm, such as stress, caused by the data breach. This is known as non-material damage.

Secondly, you could seek compensation for any financial loss resulting from the data breach. This is material damage. For example, you could suffer financial loss through cyber attackers accessing your banking information and using it to steal from you.

Let’s examine these damages in greater detail.

Claiming for Mental Hardship

Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. [2015] was heard at the Court of Appeal. Even though no financial loss resulted from the data breach, the claim was won, setting a precedent for claiming compensation for mental injuries. Before this case, you had to suffer financial loss in order to be able to claim for psychological harm too. Now you can claim for both or either.

To prove mental harm, you’d attend a medical assessment. It would be carried out by an independent medical professional who would create a report that shows:

  1. The severity of your psychological injuries.
  2. Whether the injuries were caused or worsened by the data breach. (If there’s no link between the data breach and your injuries, you could find it difficult to claim.)

Your solicitor would use this report to help them evidence and value your injuries.

Claiming For Monetary Loss

You may have suffered financial loss due to your bank details being stolen and used. Your credit card information might’ve been taken and used and your credit score could be affected. If you weren’t able to recover these costs, you could do so in a data breach claim.

However, you’d need proof. You could use bills or bank statements, for example, to support your claim.

How Could Compensation For A Data Breach At Walsall Council Be Calculated?

The compensation table below will give you a good idea of how much data breach compensation you might receive for psychological harm if a claim for a data breach is successful. The table uses figures from guidelines produced by the Judicial College. Legal professionals use these guidelines to help them value injuries.

Degree of SeverityHealth ProblemPossible CompensationMore Data
SeverePsychiatric damage£51,460 - £108,620A severe mental injury would fall under this category. The victim might recover partially with time, but they are almost certain to have ongoing mental health problems.
ModeratePsychiatric damage£5,500 - £17,900This category includes psychiatric damage of moderate severity. Symptoms that persist following recovery will not pose a severe problem.
Moderately severePsychiatric damage£17,900 - £51,460In this category is moderately severe psychiatric damage. The claimant would suffer significant issues with life, work and education but would have a more optimistic prognosis than those in the severe category.
Less severePsychiatric damageUp to £5,500Compensation would take into consideration how long the disability lasted and how much everyday activities and sleep were impacted.

If you can’t see your injuries in the above compensation table, why not use our compensation calculator? Alternatively, get in touch with our advisors for a free estimate of what you could claim.

Data Breach At Walsall Council: No Win No Fee Claims

Have you ever heard of a No Win No Fee agreement? Possibly you have seen this phrase advertised, and have a general idea of how it works. It may surprise you to learn that you could also make a data breach claim with a solicitor that works under a No Win No Fee agreement.

Essentially, you do not have to pay your lawyer fees if your claim isn’t successful. Other benefits include:

  • No upfront solicitor fees.
  • No ongoing solicitor fees.

You would pay your lawyer a success fee if your claim wins. This is capped by law at a small percentage. What’s more, it’s deducted from the compensation payment, meaning it’d only be taken once the compensation has come through.

Our solicitors offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis for all claims they accept. To see if you can be connected with them, why not reach out?

Find Breach Of Data Protection Solicitors For Your Case

If you need a good lawyer to handle your claim for a data breach, we can help. Our experienced lawyers can assist you if you have a valid, strong claim. Their goal is to provide you with the best chance of success and obtain the maximum level of compensation for your case.

Find out if you could use their services by contacting us today.

Talk To A Solicitor

We’ve almost come to the end of this guide exploring your rights should a data breach at Walsall Council occur. To get free legal advice, use the information below to reach out to an advisor. Whether your claim is valid or not can be determined by our advisors once they have reviewed it with you.

If you have a favourable claim, they could connect you with our lawyers, who work on a No Win No Fee basis.

Our advisors are also available 24/7 and you can contact them by:

  • Calling on 0800 073 8804.
  • Using our webchat for instant online answers.
  • Filling in a claim online form so we can contact you whenever’s best for you.

Useful Links For Claimants

Other useful guides are provided in the links below.

Compensation For Loss Of Medical Records

School Data Breach Claims

Blackbaud Data Breach

Additionally, these other sites could provide you with some useful information.

Data Protection: Make A Complaint

Personal Data Breaches At A Glance

Guide To Data Protection

Data Breach Council FAQs

Here are some answers to common questions related to data breaches.

How much compensation will I get for a data breach?

This will depend on the circumstances of your claim. Call and our advisors can value your claim for free.

What are my rights if my data has been breached?

You have the right to find out about the data breach, complain to the ICO, and attempt to make a compensation claim. However, you can only claim if the organisation that was supposed to protect your personal data failed to due to positive wrongful conduct.

How long does a data breach claim take?

This will depend on the circumstances of your claim. You can talk to one of our claim advisors who may be able to give you a rough estimate.

How do you claim for a data breach?

You could claim by proving your financial loss or mental suffering was caused by a data breach that was due to an organisation’s data protection failings. To find out more, contact our advisors.

Thanks for reading our guide on steps you could take if a data breach at Walsall Council ever took place.

Written by Wheeler

Edited by Victorine

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