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Watford Community Housing Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Watford Community Housing Data Breach

Can I Claim Compensation For A Watford Community Housing Trust Data Breach?

The Watford Community Housing data breach happened in March 2020. Watford Community Housing sent a Coronavirus email to its tenants. Unfortunately, a confidential document was attached to the email, which should not have been shared. This document contained personal information belonging to 3,545 tenants of the housing association.

As an organisation that operates in the UK, Watford Community Housing has a duty of care to protect the personal data that they hold. Publicly sharing personal data violates the tenant’s privacy. What’s more, the negligence may have also put more vulnerable tenants at risk.

Watford Community Housing data breach claims guide

Watford Community Housing data breach claims guide

If you can prove that the Watford Community Housing Trust Data Breach has caused you distress or financial damage you may be eligible to claim compensation. Trust Legal Expert to handle your GDPR data breach compensation claim. We can provide you with an experienced data breach solicitor to manage your claim.

To begin your claim call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804. Alternatively, fill out our online compensation claims form to contact us in writing. A solicitor will start working on your claim right away if you are owed data breach compensation.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Claims If Affected By The Watford Community Housing Data Breach
  2. What Is A Data Protection Breach Claim Against Watford Community Housing Trust?
  3. GDPR Data Protection In Housing
  4. The Watford Community Housing Data Breach
  5. Can I Report A Housing Association To The ICO?
  6. In What Way Can Data Breach Victims Be Compensated
  7. Calculating Compensation For A Watford Community Housing Data Breach
  8. How To Claim Compensation For A Breach Of Data Protection
  9. Ways That Data Breach Solicitors Can Help You
  10. No Win No Fee Data Protection Breach Claims Against Watford Housing Association
  11. Start A Data Breach Claim
  12. Additional Claim Resources
  13. Data Breach Statistics
  14. FAQs – Common Questions About Data Breaches

A Guide To Claims If Affected By The Watford Community Housing Data Breach

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), organisations that collect personal data from members of the public have a duty of care towards it. This means that they are responsible for the protection of data security within their organisation. Consequently, if a breach of data occurs, this breaches the organisation’s GDPR compliance. Subsequently, individuals who can show that they have suffered damage because of a data breach can claim compensation under the GDPR.

This guide will focus on the Watford Community Housing data breach. We will explain what a data breach is and how it can occur. Also, you will be advised how to claim compensation from housing associations in Watford for a data security breach in which you can prove that you’ve suffered financial or mental damage.

To learn more about the justifications behind a Watford housing association data breach compensation claim, call Legal Expert. We offer a free legal consultation to anyone looking to claim compensation for a data breach. Alternatively, contact us in writing to tell us about your ordeal.

Data Breach Claim Time Limits

In the UK, the time limit for making a data breach claim is 6 years from the date you obtained knowledge of the breach. However, you will have 1 year in which to make your claim if the data breach has impacted your human rights,

What Is A Data Protection Breach Against Watford Community Housing Trust

It is normal for organisations and businesses to collect data from members of the public. These individuals can be employees, customers, and other individuals that have a relationship with them. Subsequently, organisations are required to have security measures in place to protect this personal data.

What is a data breach?

A data breach is a security breach that compromises the protection of personal data held by an organisation. Data leaks, data exposure, data theft, data becoming lost or altered can also happen. Or third parties can get unauthorised access to the data such as through hacks and viruses.

The Watford Community Housing data breach affected over 3,000 people. You may be eligible to claim compensation if you can prove that you have been affected by a data breach financially or mentally.

To begin your claim compensation for a GDPR data breach call our helpline today.

What Can Cause A Data Breach At A Housing Association?

Data breaches at housing associations can happen because of human error or a malicious hacking attack. We will look at some common reasons why data breaches can take place below.

Examples Of Causes Of Data Breach

Data breaches can often happen because of the mismanagement of personal data records at an organisation. This may mean that the organisation has not implemented processes to protect the data. For example, staff may not be properly trained in GDPR compliance.

Data breaches can also happen because of errors made by staff. For example, a receptionist could leave a confidential document containing personal information on a desk, which faces a public waiting room. An unauthorised third party could therefore access the data.

Additionally, device loss can also cause data breaches. For example, a work device with personal data on it may become lost or stolen, allowing people outside the organisation to access it. This security breach can be prevented by making work devices password protected.

Unfortunately, there are instances where data breaches take place because of bad actors. For example, cyberattacks. Hackers can breach an organisation’s firewall to gain access to a network to obtain sensitive data. In addition, cyberattacks and data hacks can use malware. This is a form of malicious software that can be used to steal, alter or destroy data.

One type of malware is ransomware, which blocks access to the organisation’s data. Therefore, a hacking group may use a VPN (a virtual private network) to mask their IP address so they cannot be located. Spyware, DDoS attacks, Rootkits, and bots are other types of malware that can be used in a hacking attack

Cybercriminals may commit data breaches for the following reasons:

  • Firstly, criminals commit identity theft and fraud, using stolen personal data.
  • Secondly, to gain access to confidential information for malicious purposes.
  • Last of all to threaten or blackmail individuals. Especially if the data was of a sensitive nature.

GDPR Data Protection In Housing

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a piece of EU legislation. All organisations that obtain the data of EU citizens have to comply with it. When an individual’s personal data is collected, the GDPR protects their privacy and security. What’s more, the Data Protection Act 2018 enacts the GDPR into UK law.

These are some of the key aspects of the GDPR include:

  • Firstly that organisations that collect, process and store personal data, have a duty to protect the data.
  • Secondly, that organisations must have proper procedures in place to protect the data they hold. Companies should invest in cybersecurity systems to achieve this.
  • And thirdly that people can seek GDPR data breach compensation if they have experienced financial or mental damage as a result of a data breach.

The General Data Protection Regulation also defines a number of different roles. One of them is a data subject, which is someone whose personal details are collected by an organisation.

Furthermore, the GDPR defines the organisation that collects and stores personal data as the data controller.

And finally, the General Data Protection Regulation defines the data processor as the body that processes data on behalf of the controller. This could be a third party or the controller itself.

To be GDPR compliant, the data controller and/or data processor are responsible for upholding the following rules:

  • An organisation can only collect and use data from a data subject if they give permission to do so.
  • A data subject must be informed of how their data will be used when their data is collected.
  • The data that has been collected can not be used for another purpose.
  • Data processors and/or data collectors are responsible for following all relevant data laws in countries where their organisation operates.

The Watford Community Housing Data Breach

Watford Community Housing is a housing association in Watford. It provides social housing services across southwest Hertfordshire. The Watford Community Housing data breach took place in March 2020 when a Coronavirus email was sent to its tenants. The email informed them of how the Coronavirus might affect the services they receive.

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus email had a confidential file attached. The file contained personal details of all of the housing association’s 3,545 tenants. Consequently, the personal data was exposed to the entire mailing list.

The personal details of the tenants included the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone numbers
  • Gender
  • Religious beliefs
  • Disability information
  • Sexual orientation

This is a gross violation of privacy, especially as sensitive information such as people’s sexuality and disability status has been shared. The breach may even have put some residents at risk.

So what could be the consequences of the Watford housing association data breach for some residents?

  • Scammers could use the contact details to defraud residents. For example, they may send phishing emails and texts to residents to gain access to their bank accounts.
  • People who are racial minorities, sexual minorities and/or religious minorities may be targeted for abuse or hate crimes.
  • Criminals may target the homes of elderly and disabled residents for the likes of thefts.

If you can prove that the Watford Community Housing data breach affected you, you may be eligible to claim compensation. Legal Expert can provide you with a skilled data breach lawyer to manage your claim. They will be able to negotiate with the defendant to try to win you the maximum compensation award possible.

Can I Report A Housing Association To The ICO?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing the GDPR in the UK. The ICO has the power to fine organisations that breach the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.

If a social housing data breach has affected you, you can take the following steps to report the breach.

  1. Complain formally to the housing association in writing. The ICO has a guide to writing a letter of complaint on their website, which you may find helpful. Head here to learn more about raising concerns.
  2. If the response you receive is unsatisfactory and you’ve heard nothing further for around 3 months, you can raise a complaint with the ICO. The Information Commissioner’s Office is unlikely to investigate a complaint that is more than three months old. So we recommend you raise your complaint promptly.

Fortunately, the Watford Community Housing data breach has already been reported to the ICO.

In What Way Can Data Breach Victims Be Compensated

Experiencing a data breach can be very traumatic for some people. In the case of the Watford Community Housing data breach, many vulnerable people had their personal details shared. In extreme cases, this could make them more vulnerable to robberies or hate crimes. All of this can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health.

The data breach at Watford Community Housing could subsequently result in increased criminal activity. Fraudsters could use resident’s contact details to target them for phishing attacks or use personal data to commit identity theft.

You may be able to claim the following types of compensation if the Watford Community Housing Trust Data Breach has affected you.

  • Material damages: This is compensation to repay you for any money you lost or damage to your finances because of the housing trust data breach.
  • Non-material damages: This is compensation for the mental distress, anxiety or depression caused by the data breach.

Calculating Compensation For A Watford Community Housing Data Breach

When valuing a claim, it’s important to take into account all the harm done; a claim can only be made once.

To prove psychological damage stemming from a breach, it will be necessary to obtain evidence that establishes the causal link. This is achieved through medical evidence, which can be obtained as part of the claim.

The types of conditions that could be diagnosed include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and/or anxiety. You can consider the table below to estimate how much compensation you could claim for a data breach.

Injury TypeSeriousnessDescriptionEstimated Compensation
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevereThe person has permanent injuries caused by PTSD.£56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerately severeThe person has severe effects of PTSD, but will not be as significant as the category above..£21,730 to £56,180
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerateThe person should have made a recovery. Whilst they could have some residual effects these will not be ‘grossly disabling’.£7,680 to £21,730
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderLess severeThe person will have made a full recovery within 1-2 years.Up to £7,680
Psychiatric DamageSevereThe victim will have suffered a marked and severe issue with regard to their ability to deal with relationships, life, work and education.£51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric DamageModerately severeThe victim will experience issues with those factors listed above. They will have a better prognosis.£17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric DamageModerateThe victim may have issues with their relationships, life, work and with education. The victim has a better prognosis than the above two categories.£5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric DamageLess severeThe victims settlement should account for the severity of the persons disability and the length of time this lasted.Up to £5,500

The compensation amounts in this table are based on guidelines from the Judicial College. Depending on your personal circumstances, the amount of money that you receive may vary. For an accurate compensation estimate, call us today.

How To Claim Compensation For A Breach Of Data Protection

If you can show that you have been affected financially or mentally by a breach of data protection, you may be eligible to claim compensation. To begin your GDPR data breach compensation claim, take the following steps:

  1. Firstly, write to the organisation responsible for the data breach. Explain how the incident has affected you and raise your concerns.
  2. Secondly, if you do not receive a satisfactory response within three months, we recommend involving a data breach lawyer to handle your claim. Legal Expert can provide you with a skilled data breach solicitor to handle your compensation claim.

Ways That Data Breach Solicitors Can Help You

What are the advantages of working with Legal Expert?

  • Our skilled team of solicitors has decades of experience handling claims
  • We will negotiate vigorously with the housing association to win you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
  • And finally, your data breach lawyer will also be able to handle your compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis. You can read more about No Win No Fee data breach claims below.

No Win No Fee Data Protection Breach Claims Against Watford Housing Association

At Legal Expert, we can handle GDPR claims on a No Win No Fee basis.

So how do No Win No Fee claims work? Traditionally claimants paid their solicitor an hourly fee or paid for their claim upfront. These funds are not returnable in the case that the solicitor does not win the claim.

However, with a No Win No Fee claim, you will only have to pay your solicitor a small success fee if you win your compensation claim. The success fee will be deducted from your compensation payout.

In an unuccessful claim, you won’t be obligated to pay any of your lawyer’s fees, nor the success fee, meaning you walk away without paying a penny. This makes No Win No Fee claims more affordable for many.

Start A Data Breach Claim

To begin your compensation claim for a Watford Community Housing data breach, contact Legal Expert today to speak to an advisor.

  • Call our data breach helpline on 0800 073 8804.
  • Email us using our online claims form.
  • Chat to a claims advisor using the chat widget on your screen.

Additional Claims Resources

We hope you have found this data breach claims guide helpful. If you wish to learn more about making a GDPR data breach compensation, you may find these guides helpful.

Crown Prosecution Service Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

NHS Data Breach Claims Guide

Plymouth Marjon University Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

External Guides

A government guide to data protection

An ICO guide to raising concerns about a data breach

Data Breach Statistics

cyber-security-statistics-graph

Find more data breach statistics for businesses in this government resource.

FAQs – Common Questions About Data Breaches

What is an example of a data breach?

Data breaches are security breaches, involving personal data. For example, confidential information belonging to an organisation may be published online without permission.

Is a data breach illegal?

Data breaches could violate GDPR. Therefore if an organisation commits a data protection breach, they could be fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

What are the consequences of a data breach?

Data breaches can cause people to experience emotional distress. What’s more, fraudsters may use compromised data to commit fraud, identity theft, and other crimes.

How do you handle a data breach?

Organisations that have suffered a data breach will sometimes be able to recover the data that is lost. To do so, they may need to implement new security measures. Additionally, they will have to report the data breach to the ICO, who may issue them a fine.

Thanks for reading our guide to the Watford Community Housing data breach.

 

Guide by Chelache

Edited by Billing

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