VICTIMS CAN BE ENTITLED TO MAKE A CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION ON A NO WIN, NO FEE BASIS
EXPERT REPRESENTATION FROM SPECIALIST GROUP AND MULTI-PARTY ACTION LAW FIRM
About The Lancaster University Data Breach Incidents
The Lancaster University data breaches revealed in July 2019 are said to affect a number of students and applicants who applied to join the university.
They have been described as sophisticated and malicious cyber-attacks.
There were two separate breaches. One affected undergraduate student data for 2019 and 2020 applicants, which included the following information potentially being exposed:
- Telephone numbers.
There was also a breach of the student records system, which has resulted in some students’ records and identification documents being exposed.
The exposure of this kind of information can put victims at an immediate risk of fraud. With students working hard to focus on their studies while living on modest budgets, the stress and worry of crimes like identity theft is not something they ought to have to deal with.
Some victims whose information has been exposed have already been targeted with phishing attacks by way of fraudulent invoices being issued. No student would want to be in arrears, especially with the fear as to whether their education placement could be affected. Vulnerable students could easily fall for an attempt to steal money and / or more information.
What Can Victims Claim For?
If your information has been exposed as a result of the cyber-attack, you can be entitled to make a claim for data breach compensation on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Legal cases are typically made up of two parts:
- General Damages: for any distress, suffering and loss of amenity caused by an incident;
- Special Damages: for losses and expenses, such as lost money if you are the victim of fraud.
Importantly, you do not have to have suffered a financial loss to be able to make a claim. Data breach compensation amounts take into account the distress caused by the loss of control of personal information, and the fact that your personal data has been exposed to criminals.
With the Lancaster University data breach incidents potentially putting victims at an immediate and serious risk of fraud, and with some students already targeted, legal action for justice is important.
In most cases, when personal information has been exposed, it is simply impossible to undo the exposure.
How Does A Compensation Claim Work?
If your information has been exposed in the Lancaster University data breach incidents, you can be eligible to join our compensation action on a No Win, No Fee basis.
All organisations have an important duty to protect the data that they store and process. This includes properly protecting data to prevent malicious access, so the university has a duty to have adequate defences. Unfortunately, as we see in many cases we deal with, there is sometimes a serious lack of effective software and systems in place to prevent these kinds of cyber-attacks taking place.
Although we will need to investigate what steps (if any) the university had in place to protect the data they hold, if it transpires that they could – and should – have done more, victims can be entitled to make a successful claim for compensation.
In cases where lots of people are affected by the same cyber-attack, the claims can be grouped together to form a Group Litigation Order (GLO). You still have an individual claim, but we can address the same legal arguments together.
As a firm, we specialise in these types of actions, and we have done so for a number of years. We are representing people just like you in over 25 separate actions. We have also previously been appointed to the Steering Committee (the leaders of an action) on a previous case that is set to be the biggest the UK has ever seen.
Our experience speaks for itself.
A Familiar Incident
The Data Leak Lawyers are fighting for justice in dozens of separate group actions and multi-party actions. The Lancaster University data breaches are incredibly similar to individual cases we have represented people for, and notably similar to one of the current actions we are in the process of settling claims for.
A serious breach took place at The University of Greenwich that resulted in the private information for hundreds of students being exposed online. The information they leaked was not only enough to put victims at risk of fraud, but it also included incredibly sensitive personal and domestic information about some students as well.
Will There Be A GDPR Fine?
If the UK’s data regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), find that the university failed to adequately secure the data they hold, there could be a GDPR fine to come in the future.
Fines can now amount to up to 4% of an organisation’s global annual turnover, and we saw the power of the fines when British Airways (an action we are also dealing with) were hit with a provisional fine of £183m. That was also a successful cyber-attack, and the ICO ruled in that case that the airline could have done more to have prevented their systems being breached.
Money from fines is not intended to be used as compensation for victims which is why we operate our separate legal actions for victims to be able to recover damages as well.
Claim Now As A Victim Of The Lancaster University Data Breaches
If you were a victim of the cyber-attacks that hit the university, you may be eligible to make a claim for data breach compensation on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Our initial advice is available on a free, no-obligation basis. It is your right as a victim of a cyber-attack to be able to make a claim, and the law supports action for justice for the victims whose personal and sensitive information has been wrongly exposed.
Presently, we consider that there may be a case to answer for, which is why we are prepared to take cases forward now.
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