University data breach claims: know your rights

university data breach claims

University data breach claims can lead to victims suffering substantial distress and financial loss. Victims could be entitled to No Win, No Fee legal representation.

In this article, we will briefly outline when you could be eligible to claim compensation, what you can claim for, and why it’s important for higher education institutions to protect the data they hold. We represent victims for group and individual claims for university data breach cases on a No Win, No Fee basis, and victims have a voice with us.

Here’s how we can help.

Eligibility for university data breach claims

Students and staff alike can be eligible to pursue university data breach claims. If your information has been misused or exposed by a higher education institution, or an employee working for one, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

The two primary factors that we look at when we consider taking legal action for people are:

  • Has the data breach arisen from some form of negligence?
  • Have you suffered personally or financially as a result of the breach?

If the answer to those questions is yes, you could be entitled to claim compensation. You do not have to have suffered any actual financial loss to be able to claim as you can be entitled to receive compensation for emotional distress alone. This is usually based on the distress caused by the loss of control of your personal information.

Of course, if you have suffered financial losses as well, these can be considered. Universities often hold what we may see as the “full range” of information for people, which can include:

  • The usual personal details;
  • Financial information, including payment card information, for the payment of fees;
  • Medical and domestic information that may be needed for assistance purposes.

As such, one data breach could lead to a substantial amount of information being exposed or misused. We have represented, and still are representing, people for individual and group cases for university data breach claims, and we have seen cases where incredibly personal and sensitive data has been exposed. We understand how damaging this can be, which is why we can represent people for cases.

What can you claim for?

For university data breach claims, you could be eligible to receive compensation for:

  • General Damages for the distress caused by the loss of control of your personal information; and/or
  • Special Damages for any loses and expenses incurred, if applicable.

How much a claim for distress can be valued at is usually depending on:

  • What data is involved;
  • How much information has been affected;
  • The personal impact for you, which can be subjective;
  • Any applicable losses and expenses.

Generally speaking, the more you suffer, the more a case could be worth. Claims can be valued in the thousands or tens of thousands of pounds for cases where the kind of data a university holds has been misused or exposed. Medical data breach claims or ones involving sensitive social and domestic information can be worse in terms of the impact, and we do consider this when we represent people for cases.

A big target

Because of the nature of the data that universities hold, and the volume of it given the many thousands of students and staff there, higher education institutions can be a target for cyberhackers.

As such, universities should have incredibly stringent data protection policies and procedures, as well as robust cybersecurity systems in place. They should recognise that they can be a target and make sure that all is done to protect the data that they store and process. Failure to do so could lead to a substantial data breach and significant claims for compensation.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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