Has your personal information been compromised in a data breach by a school? Are you wondering whether you have sufficient evidence to make a personal data breach claim? If you answered yes, this guide may provide you with the information you have been looking for.
In this guide, we will explain what exactly a personal data breach is, as well as what personal data a school may hold.
We will also explain the data protection laws organisations must follow. Additionally, we will provide examples of how a school could breach your personal data.
Our team of friendly advisors are here to help. They are available 24/7 to help answer any of your questions and offer free legal advice. To find out if you could be eligible to make a claim, contact our team today.
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- Making A Claim For A Data Breach By A School – A Guide
- What Is A Data Breach By A School?
- How Do I Report A Data Breach?
- Data Breach In A School – Potential Compensation Amounts
- Can I Use No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitors?
- Learn More About Claiming For A Data Breach
A personal data breach is a security incident where personal data is lost, destroyed, disclosed, accessed or altered either accidentally or unlawfully. Any information that can identify you directly or in combination with other information, such as your name or mobile number, is classified as personal data.
The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) set out the steps that organise must take when they collect and process the personal data of UK residents. As such, schools must follow data protection law as they collect and process the personal data of UK residents. This legislation is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent body dedicated to upholding data protection rights.
However, to make a valid claim for data breach compensation, you need to prove that due to the organisation’s failings, your personal information was compromised in the data breach. Additionally, you must also prove that because of this, you suffered either financial loss or mental distress. In the next section, we will discuss how your personal data could be breached due to an organisation’s failings.
Contact our advisors today to find out whether you can make a claim following a personal data breach by a school.
Both digital and physical data are protected under data protection law. This means that schools must ensure they are taking all the necessary steps to protect any physical and digital data they hold.
Some examples of how your or your child’s personal data could be involved in a data breach by a school due to their failings are:
- The school did not update their cybersecurity measures. This left them vulnerable to hackers, who then steal personal data from their systems.
- Someone working at the school sends your personal data to the wrong email or postal address. This allows unauthorised third parties to access your personal data.
- A staff member verbally discloses your child’s personal data from their school records over the phone to an unauthorised person.
Remember, to claim compensation for a data breach, you will need to prove that your personal data was involved in the breach and that the breach was due to the organisation’s failings. Furthermore, you would also then need to prove that the personal data breach caused you mental harm or financial losses.
To find out if you could be eligible to claim, contact our team of advisors today.
If you have been informed that you or your child’s personal information was involved in a data breach by a school, there are certain steps you could take to help you form the basis of a successful claim. These steps are:
- In some cases, you may be notified by the organisation that a breach has occurred. Or, you may come across the breach yourself. In either case, you can make a complaint to the school or organisation and ask for more information.
- If you do not receive a satisfactory response from the organisation, or if they do not reply, you can report the breach to the ICO within three months of your last meaningful contact.
- Collecting evidence to strengthen your claim. This could be a copy of your medical records showing psychological harm, or it could be a copy of your credit card statements showing financial harm.
Additionally, you can contact our advisors if you would like some free legal advice regarding your potential claim or further information on how to report a data breach.
If you are considering making a data breach claim, you may wonder how much compensation you could receive.
Non-material damage compensates you for the mental harm you have suffered as a direct result of the personal data breach. This can include anxiety, stress or depression. You must provide evidence that the data breach impacted your mental health, such as a copy of your medical records.
We have created the following table to help you understand how much compensation you could potentially receive in non-material damage. We have taken the following figures from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), as many legal professionals will use the JCG to help them value claims.
|Psychiatric Damage Generally (Psychological Suffering)||(a) Severe - Social and working life alongside personal relationships will be severely impacted. The prognosis will also be very poor.||£54,830 to £115,730|
|Psychological Suffering||(b) Moderately Severe - Social and working life alongside personal relationships will be significantly impacted. The prognosis will be more positive.||£19,070 to £54,830|
|Psychological Suffering||(c) Moderate - There will have been significant improvements to symptoms and a good prognosis.||£5,860 to £19,070|
|Psychological Suffering||(d) Less Severe - Several factors will impact how much is awarded, e.g. how much sleep and daily life were impacted.||£1,540 to £5,860|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder/PTSD (Anxiety Disorder)||(a) Severe - All aspects of life will be negatively impacted. They will be unable to function the same as they would pre-trauma.||£59,860 to £100,670|
|Anxiety Disorder||(b) Moderately Severe - With professional treatment, there is a chance of slight recovery with a more positive prognosis.||£23,150 to £59,860|
|Anxiety Disorder||(c) Moderate - Any persisting symptoms are not massively disabling following a large recovery.||£8,180 to £23,150|
|Anxiety Disorder||(d) Less Severe - Within 1 to 2 years, a full recovery (or close to) has been made.||£3,950 to £8,180|
Can I Claim For Material Damage?
Additionally, you may also be able to claim material damage. Material damage compensates you for the financial losses you have incurred as a direct result of the personal data breach. Financial losses can include money being taken out of your account or loans taken out under your name, which affects your credit score.
Call us today to find out how to make a claim if you have suffered a personal data breach by a school.
A solicitor from our panel may be able to help you with your data breach claim by taking on your case on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Usually, solicitors do not require ongoing or upfront fees when you use a CFA. The only fee you pay to your solicitor for their services is a success fee if your claim succeeds. The success fee is taken directly from your compensation and has a legal cap. However, if your claim does not succeed, you don’t pay this fee.
Contact our advisors today to learn how a solicitor from our panel could help you with your claim for a data breach by a school.
Contact Us For Free To See If You Can Make A Data Breach Claim
If you have questions about claiming for a personal data breach by a school, you can contact our team today. Our advisors are available 24/7 to answer any of your questions regarding your personal data breach claim. Furthermore, they can also provide you with free legal advice and a free consultation.
To talk to our advisors:
For more articles on personal data breach claims:
- Making a claim for a social services data breach
- Could I claim compensation for a sexuality data breach?
- Can I claim compensation for an accountant data breach?
Additional resources are available at:
- National Cyber Security Centre – Guidance for individuals and families.
- UK GOV. – Make a complaint
- ICO – What are ‘controllers’ and ‘processors’?
Call us today to find out whether you could make a claim for a personal data breach by a school.
Writer Megan Riddle
Editor Cat Hunt