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Cambridge University Data Breach

Cambridge University Data Breach

On the 15th June 2020, the personal details of 305 third year medical students were accidentally exposed to their entire unit, after a spreadsheet was mistakenly attached to an email welcoming the students into their fourth year.

The breach affected all students due to start at the Clinical School in September. The personal information leaked included; Unique Student Numbers, date of birth, gender, CRSID and college shared, alongside their names.

Further sensitive information pertaining to 19 of these students was also shared, including reasons for intermission, deferral or for withdrawing from the course altogether. This also included some private information regarding individuals’ mental health, disabilities or information on investigations into their fitness to practice as doctors.

How do I know if my data has been breached by Cambridge University?

The incident has been reported to Cambridge University and will be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) breach, according to the Clinical School.

Following the initial email, a further communication was sent later the same day, this time from the Head of Undergraduate Medical Education Section, apologising for the error and “any distress caused.”

A full investigation is said to be underway and students should also expect to receive a “detailed explanation and an indication of what measures have been put in place to prevent this happening again.

Who are we?

Fletchers Data Claims is a legal service provided by Fletchers Solicitors, a Top 100 UK Law Firm with over 30 years experience of fighting for consumer rights. If you have been the victim of a data breach then you may be entitled to claim for compensation for any losses or damage caused, as well as the distress that the incident has caused. The Fletchers Data Claims service is there to represent your interests and help you claim back the compensation you are entitled to either through an individual claim against the organisation that breached your data or in some cases, through representing you and others are part of a large group action (often called a ‘class action’).

How do I claim?

If you have been affected by the Cambridge University data breach, then you may be entitled to compensation for the distress and financial damage caused. Even if you are lucky and the breach did not result in any specific loss or damage, you are still rightly entitled by law to claim compensation for the distress caused by the incident. It is important that organisations like Cambridge University treat your data lawfully and with care and respect, and are held to account when they fail to do so.

In most cases of claim for distress following a data breach, the minimum level of damages to be sought at a settlement stands between £750 to £1,000, but with any data breach the value could be much higher depending on the circumstances and effects of the breach.
If the breach has caused you specific losses and damages or was particularly sensitive in nature then the amount of compensation could be significantly higher. For example, if your details were used to falsely obtain money from you then you may be entitled to a higher amount of compensation as well as claiming back any funds that were handed over. This is why it is important to contact a knowledgeable legal team like us to ensure that your case is properly assessed and the right amount of compensation is awarded.

All advice provided is free of charge and if we take your case on, we always work on a no win-no fee basis. That means if your claim following a data breach is not successful, you will not be charged a penny.