Student Data Breach – Can I Claim?

If you suffered harm after personal details about you were compromised in a school or university data breach, you may wish to make a student data breach claim. This guide will explore the eligibility criteria that need to be met in order to do so, as well as the compensation that could potentially be awarded to address the impact of a data breach following a successful claim.

student data breach

Student Data Breach – Can I Claim?

Additionally, we will examine what a personal data breach is and the laws that set out the responsibility certain parties have with regard to the processing, storing and handling of your data. You can also find examples of how a personal data breach could occur if these laws aren’t followed.

Finally, we explain how a data breach solicitor from our panel could potentially assist you in seeking compensation.

For more information on data breach claims, please contact an advisor for free advice. To reach them, you can:

Jump To A Section

  1. When Can I Claim For A Student Data Breach?
  2. How Could My Personal Information Be Affected In A Student Data Breach?
  3. Potential Compensation From A Data Breach
  4. What Do I Need To Claim For A Student Data Breach?
  5. Claim Data Breach Compensation Using No Win No Fee Solicitors
  6. Learn More About Student Data Breach Claims

When Can I Claim For A Student Data Breach?

There are eligibility criteria that need to be met to start a personal data breach claim.

Firstly, you need to show that the data controller or data processor, did not follow data protection legislation called the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).

A data controller sets the means and purpose for processing your personal data, whilst a data processor is the party who acts on behalf of the controller. They must adhere to the UK GDPR and DPA in order to protect your personal data.

Secondly, you need to show that as a result of the controllers or processors wrongful conduct, your personal data was compromised in a breach. A personal data breach is a security incident that impacts the availability, integrity and confidentiality of personal data.

Finally, you need to show that you experienced financial damage, emotional harm, or both, as a result.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the body responsible for upholding information rights and enforcing data protection legislation. They provide a helpful definition of personal data as information that can identify you as a living person.

If you have evidence that your personal data has been compromised in a breach caused by the failings of a controller or processor, and this resulted in you sustaining damage, call our team. They can assess your eligibility to start a student data breach claim.

How Could My Personal Information Be Affected By A Student Data Breach?

Schools and universities may have access to several types of personal data, such as your name, email address, phone number, address, and information relating to any medical conditions you have. Additionally, schools could have the credit or debit card details of parents who have paid for school trips, or lunches. If this personal data is affected in a breach, it could lead to emotional harm, or financial loss.

Examples of how a student data breach could occur in a school or university include:

  • An email that contains personal data, such as details of a university students counselling appointment, is sent to the wrong recipient in a human error data breach. As a result, the student suffers anxiety and distress.
  • Poor cyber security systems mean a school system is hacked and parents payment details are stolen in a ransomware attack. This leads to financial loss for the parent.

To discuss your specific case and learn whether you could claim compensation for a data breach, call our team on the number above.

Potential Compensation From A Data Breach

Following a successful data breach claim, compensation could be awarded to address two different types of damage. Firstly, if you have suffered mentally, this is referred to as non-material damage. It can include emotional distress, stress, depression, anxiety and, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in more severe cases.

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a publication often used by legal professionals to help value this portion of your settlement. Our table offers some examples of the guideline award bracket amounts listed in the JCG. Please note these are only intended to be used as a guide.

Guideline Award Brackets

Type of Psychological HarmLevel of SeverityAward Bracket - GuidelinesNotes
General Psychiatric Damage(A) Severe£54,830 to £115,730Marked problems in different areas of life and a very poor prognosis.
(B) Moderately Severe£19,070 to £54,830A better prognosis is indicated but there are still significant problems across different areas of life.
(C) Moderate£5,860 to £19,070A significant improvement and a good prognosis.
(D) Less Severe£1,540 to £5,860The exact level of the award can depend on how long the disability lasts and how badly it affected the person.
PTSD(A) Severe£59,860 to £100,670Permanent issues preventing the person from working or functioning at a pre-trauma level. They will see all aspects of their life badly affected.
(B) Moderately Severe £23,150 to £59,860A better prognosis after professional counselling has helped with recovery. However, the person may still have a significant disability for the foreseeable future.
(C) Moderate£8,180 to £23,150A significant recovery with any ongoing issues not being majorly disabling.
(D) Less Severe £3,950 to £8,180Virtually a full recovery within 24 months and only minimal symptoms persisting beyond this period.

Claiming For Material Damage In A Data Breach Compensation Claim

Secondly, if you have experienced any monetary losses, this is referred to as material damage, and can include money that was withdrawn from your bank account or fraudulent purchases made in your name.

Compensation can be awarded for material damage provided you have evidence of any financial losses, such as bank statements, and credit reports.

For further guidance on the compensation you could receive following a successful student data breach claim, call an advisor on the number above.

What Do I Need To Claim For A Student Data Breach?

There are different steps you can take following a personal data breach. For example:

  • Contact the organisation. They should inform you of a data breach that has put your rights and freedoms at risk without undue delay. However, if they don’t, and you suspect your personal data has been affected, you can contact them directly. Any correspondence you have with them, such as letters, or emails, can be used as evidence to support your claim.
  • Contact the ICO. The ICO may investigate your complaint, or any concerns you have raised with them about a breach. If the findings from their investigation support your claim, you could use them as evidence.
  • Having any psychological issues assessed by a professional. The medical report they produce could highlight any mental harm you suffered.
  • Collecting evidence of your financial losses, such as receipts, and bank statements.

A data breach solicitor from our panel could assist you with the different stages of the claims process. To learn whether they could help you with your student data breach claim, please contact an advisor on the number above.

Claim Data Breach Compensation Using No Win No Fee Solicitors

Our panel of data breach solicitors are able to provide their services, such as help gathering evidence, in a No Win No Fee capacity. As such, they could offer you a contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This typically means that they can offer their services without the need for any upfront or ongoing fees. Furthermore, no fees are required for completed work in the event of a claim being unsuccessful.

A small percentage will be taken from your compensation by your solicitor if the claim is a success. However, this is subject to a legal cap, and you will have the opportunity to discuss the fee prior to any work starting on your case.

To find out whether a solicitor from our panel could represent your student data breach claim on this basis, get in touch with an advisor. To do so, you can:

Learn More About Student Data Breach Claims

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Thank you for reading our guide about student data breach claims. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact an advisor using the details provided above.

Writer Jeff Walker

Editor Meg Monsoon