School data breach compensation claims can often be serious and incredibly sensitive as the victim of the data breach will usually be a minor. A minor can still claim for data breach compensation with an appropriate adult as their “Litigation Friend”, which is normally a parent or guardian.
School data is of course very private and can be very sensitive. Schools must be privy to a wealth of personal and sensitive data about children, including their domestic circumstances and medical details. A school data breach or data leak could involve thousands if it covers a particular Local Education Authority area, so this type of data must be kept safe and secure.
Schools, in many instances, fall within the category of the public sector, which can make them a bigger target for cyber-hackers, and they may be at a greater risk of data breaches. A lot of this stems from funding problems which can mean that there is less of a focus on data protection and cybersecurity, and older and more outdated systems being used.
As we know from the WannaCry attack from May 2017, criminals will target older systems because they are often weaker and therefore easier to breach. With news reports of headteachers having to play the role of teacher, janitor and IT technician all-in-one due to funding gaps, the risks are obvious.
The local government sector is already high up on the list of data breaches, and most schools fall within the remit of the local government. There may not be a great deal of news about school data breaches in particular, but it’s clear that they are a target, and they must be properly protected.
There have been breaches were data from whole county areas – involving tens of thousands of students, teachers and staff, and hundreds of thousands of records – has been exposed due to weaknesses. Like many other public sector authorities, many services are outsourced to private third-party agencies, and the wider the net of outsourced facilities, the greater the risk can be.
That is, the more different organisations that are involved, the more chinks in the armour there may be.
Individual school data protection breach claims
It’s not all about a large-scale data leak or a cyber-hack exposing thousands of people’s data. Individual data leaks and data breaches can be committed in a number of ways, and we have advised and represented victims where their school has breached their data protection rights. Whether the victim is a student, a parent or a teacher, any school data breach victim is entitled to seek compensation for any distress caused by a school data leak or breach.
The claim for data breach compensation is usually about the distress caused as a result of the breach, and this is usually measured on the nature of the data that has been exposed, and who it has been exposed to. Whether it’s private medical information, sensitive domestic data, or personal information about school progress or affairs that has been leaked or exposed, a victim is entitled to claim compensation.
For specialist help and advice about making a data protection compensation claim for a school data breach or leak, please contact our team on 0800 634 75 75 today.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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