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Wrexham County Borough Council Data Breach – Compensation Claims

How to Claim For A Breach Of Personal Information By Wrexham

In this guide, we consider what could constitute a Wrexham County Borough Council data breach. We also look at what personal data breach compensation claims involve.

A personal data breach could lead to identity theft, stolen bank details, and could cause mental harm. If the data breach is caused by a council’s positive wrongful conduct, and you suffer financial loss or psychological harm because your personal data was impacted, you could claim.

Wrexham County Borough Council data breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) may take action when councils don’t comply with the law. The ICO is an independent authority that enforces data protection laws. However, they don’t have the power to provide compensation to individuals. That’s where we can help.

Our advisors are available 24/7 and give free legal advice. They could also connect you with our solicitors.

You can get in touch with our advisors on 0800 073 8804 for further advice and information. Alternatively, why not use our live chat on this page for instant answers?

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Compensation Claims For Wrexham County Borough Council Data Breaches
  2. How Often Do Data Breaches Affect Councils?
  3. What Is A Claim For A Wrexham County Borough Council Data Breach?
  4. Does The Council Need To Comply With The UK GDPR?
  5. Types Of Personal Information And Data Protection Breaches
  6. Housing And Social Care Data Protection
  7. Who Needs To Know About My Data Breach?
  8. Steps To Suing Your Council For Breaching Personal Information Privacy
  9. Calculating Damages
  10. What Could I Claim For A Wrexham County Borough Council Data Breach?
  11. Wrexham County Borough Council Data Breach: No Win No Fee Claims
  12. Making A Claim With Our Solicitors
  13. Talk To A Data Breach Claims Solicitor For Free
  14. Other Claims Services
  15. Frequently Asked Questions About Breaches Of Data Privacy

A Guide To Compensation Claims For Wrexham County Borough Council Data Breaches

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU regulation that was enacted into UK law via the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). It sits alongside the UK GDPR. Essentially, these laws allow data subjects to have more control over how organisations use their personal data.

Data subjects are people whose personal information is collected or processed. For example, as the tenant of council housing, you would likely have your personal data processed by the council.

Personal data or personal information is any information that could be used to identify you (whether alone or in combination with other data).

A personal data breach occurs when a security incident leads to the unlawful loss, destruction, disclosure, access or alteration of personal information.

When handling personal data, councils should follow seven principles according to the UK GDPR. For example, a local council should have a lawful reason when it comes to processing your data. If they don’t, the local authority could be breaking data protection law.

If a council’s lack of compliance with data protection law leads to a personal data breach involving your personal information, you could claim. However, you’d need to prove that you suffered financial loss or mental harm (or both) as a consequence. A data breach solicitor could help you with this.

For your claim to be valid, you should meet these three criteria:

  1. The council’s positive wrongful conduct led to a security breach.
  2. Your personal data was unlawfully accessed, disclosed, lost, changed or destroyed as a result.
  3. As a consequence, you suffered mental harm or financial loss.

Wrexham County Borough Council Data Breach Guide

We’ve included examples of how your personal information could be compromised in a council breach. Furthermore, in this guide, we’ll talk about the sort of evidence you’ll need. Facing the claims process may seem daunting, so we understand.

As such, we do our best to make the process as easy and as stress-free as possible. Our solicitors provide No Win No Fee terms when you file a claim. This means you won’t have to pay solicitor fees if the claim isn’t successful.

Time limits

There is a time limit for filing a claim for a data breach. In the case of public body data breaches (such as those of a council), you have one year to claim. As for breaches involving private companies, you have six years to bring a claim.

We recommend that you take immediate action. After too much delay, it could become more difficult for you to remember details or locate evidence. And furthermore, different factors impact the length of time you have, so you may have less time than you think.

If you have questions regarding the compensation process, our advisors are available at any time. Please feel free to contact our advisers if you have any questions.

How Often Do Data Breaches Affect Councils?

It’s important that a council takes security measures to prevent cyberattacks or data breaches from happening. Though the below graph doesn’t reflect the data breaches that impacted councils in particular, it does show how many non-cyber security incidents affected Central Government in the first quarter of 2021-2022.

non-cyber security incidents central government

In case you have questions regarding the compensation process, our advisers are available to assist at any time. They provide free legal advice on how best to pursue a valid claim.

What Is A Claim For A Wrexham County Borough Council Data Breach?

Depending on the circumstances, a personal data breach may occur either by accident or intentionally, either within an organisation or from outside.

Several councils have been fined by the ICO for breaching people’s personal information privacy. As an example, they issued fines of:

  • £100,000 to the Hampshire County Council for not securing files containing the personal data of 100 people. (Source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/aug/17/council-fined-100000-after-social-care-files-left-empty-building)
  • £100,000 to Hertfordshire County Council for faxing personal information to the incorrect recipients. (Source: https://www.theguardian.com/government-computing-network/2010/nov/24/hertfordshire-100000-fine-information-commisioners-office-24nov10)

You could make a claim if a council’s failings led to a data breach that involved your personal information. You’d also need to prove the data breach caused you psychological harm or financial loss.

We are available to assist you at any time if you have questions regarding the compensation process. Free legal advice is available on how to pursue a valid claim.

Does The Council Need To Comply With The UK GDPR?

The UK GDPR applies to all organisations that process data. Councils need personal information for various reasons. As such, they hold a vast amount of it.

Councils could implement data protection procedures that incorporate the principles of the UK GDPR. Additionally, to process personal data, they must have a lawful reason.

A company’s lawful basis depends on what it’s going to do with the personal data. Here’s a list of six lawful bases mentioned in the UK GDPR:

  • Consent
  • Vital interests
  • Legitimate interests
  • Legal obligation
  • Contract
  • Public task

Also, councils do not need more than a single lawful basis. However, if it is determined that the purpose could have been accomplished without the processing, then the lawful reason would not apply.

It is the responsibility of local authorities and councils to adhere to this. If they do not, you could lodge a complaint with the ICO, and they may investigate the matter further.

Should you have queries about the compensation process, we are available to assist you at any time. Our advisors give free legal advice.

Types Of Personal Information And Data Protection Breaches

Each data breach is unique and all council departments hold a variety of personal data relating to you.

For example, a council may keep information about you such as:

  • Your home address
  • Name
  • Email address

You may also find that other departments have personal information that could be used to identify you. For example, they may have scans of your passport or driving licence.

No matter what kind of personal data they have, every council department should abide by data protection law if they hold or process personal information. Here are a few ways council staff may compromise your personal data privacy:

  • Sending a letter containing your personal information to an old address (though the current one is on file) where an unauthorised recipient access it.
  • An ex-employee accesses personal information, without a lawful reason, because there is a failure to update passwords when staff leave the council’s employment.
  • Having inadequate cyber security, meaning that hackers can easily exploit the vulnerabilities of the council’s systems to access personal data.
  • Employee personal data is disclosed to other employees without consent or another lawful basis.
  • Publicly releasing identifiable information about people who complained about their neighbours, without a lawful reason.

Depending on the personal information that’s accessed, a data breach could lead to identity theft and pose a long-term problem.

Our guide will provide you with information on what you could do in the event of a Wrexham County Borough Council data breach. Why not contact us should you have any unanswered questions?

Housing And Social Care Data Protection

A council can also be responsible for overseeing the provision of social services. As a result, they may hold very sensitive data. The following could be instances of personal data relating to social services being exposed:

  • Social workers leave files with personal information in unsecured filing cabinets, meaning they could be easily accessible to unauthorised persons.
  • Adoption information is left unsecured on online systems, leaving it vulnerable to hackers.

Council housing is another service that councils provide. Examples of data breaches include:

  • Tenant documents containing personal data are not stored securely, allowing unauthorised persons to access them.
  • Passport information is scanned but copies are not disposed of properly so an unauthorised person accesses the information.
  • A rent statement containing personal information is sent to an incorrect recipient (despite the correct address being on file) where they access it.

If the breach is caused by the council’s failings, you should contact your local authority directly. You should inform them of your concerns and they may be able to resolve the issue with you directly. However, if they don’t, why not get in touch with us?

This guide on what you could do after a Wrexham County Borough Council data breach aims to help you. However, if you don’t find that your questions are answered, our advisors are here for you. What’s more, if you have favourable grounds to claim, they could connect you with one of our specialist No Win No Fee lawyers.

Who Needs To Know About My Data Breach?

If your council has suffered a data breach and your personal information was involved, you have a few options available to you. Firstly, you could make a complaint to the council. Bringing your concerns to the council’s attention could be important, especially if the authority is unaware of the breach. In addition, the council would have the chance to deal with your complaint and to take measures to prevent another breach from occurring.

If the council doesn’t provide a satisfactory response, you could report your personal information concerns to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Should you choose to get in touch with the ICO, it would be better to do so as soon as possible. You should voice your concerns with the ICO no later than 3 months after your last contact with the council on the subject. The ICO may not investigate the breach if too much time has passed.

Contact us today to determine whether you are eligible to make a claim. Upon reviewing your case, an adviser could be able to connect you with our No Win No Fee lawyers.

Steps To Suing Your Council For Breaching Personal Information Privacy

Before making a claim, you could complain to the council about the data breach and potentially the ICO, as discussed above. However, it’s not necessary to notify the ICO in order to make a data breach claim.

It is important to note that to support your claim, you will be required to gather as much evidence as you can. A report from the ICO can also add to your case if the council has breached data protection law.

The evidence required includes proof that the data breach affected you psychologically or financially. If you choose to use the services of a solicitor to claim, they could help you with this.

Calculating Damages

Since Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. [2015], claimants have been able to seek compensation for the psychological damage a data breach causes alone. Before this case, you needed to have suffered financial loss as well as psychological harm if you wanted to seek compensation for mental damage.

Compensation for psychological harm caused or worsened by a data breach is known as non-material damages. The amount you could receive would be valued in line with personal injury law.

To provide you with an idea of how injuries are valued, we have created the compensation table below for non-material damages.

Mental damageSeriousnessFurther detailsPotential Amount Awarded
PTSD is referred to as post-traumatic stress disorderExtremely serious As a consequence of PTSD, the claimant experiences many symptoms that have a severe impact on him or her being able to lead a normal life or even perform normal work duties. There is also a negative impact on relationships£56,180 to £94,470
PTSD is referred to as post-traumatic stress disorderModerately seriousAs a consequence of PTSD, the claimant experiences many symptoms that have a severe impact on him or her being able to lead a normal life or even perform normal work duties. There is also a negative impact on relationships£21,730 to £56,180
PTSD is referred to as post-traumatic stress disorderModerateAs a result of the post-traumatic stress disorder, the claimant is experiencing moderate symptoms. With the right therapy and treatment, the claimant should be able to fully recover£7,680 to £21,730
PTSD is referred to as post-traumatic stress disorderLess seriousThe claimant is experiencing less severe symptoms associated with PTSD. It is expected that the claimant will make a complete recovery within two yearsUp to £7,680
Psychological harm and psychological damageExtremely severeThere is severe psychological harm sustained by the claimant. Compensation will depend on a variety of factors including the claimant's ability to continue to work, the extent to which their lives have been affected, and whether or not their relationships have been affected£51,460 to £108,620
Psychological harm and psychological damageModerately seriousIn this case, the claimant has experienced moderately severe mental harm. There is a more positive outlook than was indicated above. £17,900 to £51,460
Psychological harm and psychological damageModerateIn this case, the claimant experiences mild symptoms with marked improvements, and the prognosis for their case is good.£5,500 to £17,900
Psychological harm and psychological damageLess seriousIt is expected over the next few months that the claimant will experience fewer severe symptoms, as well as make a full recovery.Up to £5,500

The amounts are based on Judicial College Guidelines, which can be used to help value injuries. But keep in mind the amount awarded for financial losses would depend on how much mental distress a breach caused you.

For a free, accurate estimate of how much your claim could be worth, why not reach out? If you have favourable grounds for a claim, our advisors could also connect you with our No Win No Fee lawyers.

What Could I Claim For A Wrexham County Borough Council Data Breach?

Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation, an individual affected by a data breach caused by an organisation’s failures has the right to seek compensation for any financial or psychological damage incurred.

Material damages compensate you for financial losses caused by the breach. This includes any ongoing financial issues if, for example, your identity or bank information was stolen.

Additionally, you will also be able to claim compensation for any mental harm you may have suffered because of the breach. Therefore you could claim for the following:

You’ll need proof to get compensation for either damages, though. The evidence could consist of an independent medical report that shows:

  1. How severely your mental health was affected.
  2. That your mental suffering was caused or exacerbated by the data breach.

A solicitor could use the report to help value your injuries.

You should provide proof of monetary losses to claim material damages which could include:

  • Bank and credit card statements
  • Other relevant documentation proving financial losses

Contact us today to find out what damages you could seek in a council data breach claim. We are available at any time to answer questions and offer free legal advice.

Wrexham County Borough Council Data Breach: No Win No Fee Claims

Does the cost of legal representation concern you? You might want to speak to a member of our team about No Win No Fee.

If you enter into such an agreement (also called a Conditional Fee Agreement) you will not incur the upfront costs a solicitor may request if they don’t offer these terms. Furthermore, there would be no ongoing solicitor fees. Moreover, you will not be charged any solicitor fees if your case fails.

If you win your claim, a fee (success fee) is deducted from your settlement. The fee is a small, legally capped percentage of the money you are awarded. Moreover, you’ll be informed about the fee in the No Win No Fee agreement.

Our advisers can assist you by connecting you with our No Win No Fee solicitors to handle your case. If you wish to know if you are eligible, please contact our team today.

Making A Claim With Our Solicitors

If you find the right solicitor, you should have a legal professional who is familiar with data breach claims. As a client, you should know about your lawyer’s experience prior to them taking on your case. You can visit our reviews page if you would like to learn more.

For further assistance and advice, please see below. We can help you determine what damages you may be entitled to in a council data breach claim. In addition to providing free legal advice, our advisors are available to answer questions at any time about making a data breach claim.

 

Talk To A Data Breach Claims Solicitor For Free

Our advisers can offer free legal advice on how to go about claiming compensation if you have evidence of a valid claim. You are under no obligation to pursue a claim if you don’t want to.

Whether you have a simple question or are ready to begin your claim, please reach out to a member of our team today. You have the option to:

Our advisors are available 24/7 to answer questions.

Other Claims Services

Links to useful Legal Expert guides:

How to report a data breach

Guide to claiming compensation for PTSD

Claiming compensation for lost data

Some links to useful information on external websites:

Advice regarding data security from the ICO

How to complain about a data breach to a council

Guidance from the ICO about being data-aware

Frequently Asked Questions About Breaches Of Data Privacy

Answers to some frequently asked questions about data breach claims are provided here.

How do I check if my council suffered a data breach?

You can check with the Information Commissioner’s Office to find out if a council has been the victim of a data breach. But first, you should contact the council directly as soon as you can.

What can happen to stolen or leaked data?

Cybercriminals can sell stolen or leaked data or they can ransom it, for example. You could be the victim of identity theft or fraud and you could suffer mentally or financially.

Why do data breaches happen?

Data breaches can be accidental or deliberate. For example, they can be caused by human error. Cybercriminals target organisations that hold personal information because it can be valuable.

How could councils prevent data breaches?

Councils should have robust security protocols in place to reduce the risk of a data breach happening.

Thank you for reading our guide on what you could do following a Wrexham County Borough Council data breach.

Written by Wood

Edited by Victorine

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