Reports of data protection breaches doubled for Welsh councils last year — BBC

BBC reports that Welsh councils had twice as many breaches in 2013 as they did in 2012. Here are their findings from the results of their FOI request:

  • Cardiff council recorded 14 breaches including financial information about 15 employees was given to third parties and information being stolen from an employee’s car, who was later disciplined.
  • There were 45 incidents in Powys council of which 25 were confined internally to the council, four were due to external providers of services and six were still under investigation.
  • At Wrexham council, there were 13 incidents, including one in the adult social care department where personal information was passed incorrectly to a third party.
  • In Gwynedd council there were 10 breaches, including personal details being mistakenly sent, and letters and emails being sent to the wrong people.
  • Flintshire council recorded nine breaches, including a fax containing personal data being sent to the wrong care provider, and a customer receiving someone else’s personal data.
  • Nine incidents were recorded in Newport council – eight incidents were classified as “disclosed in error” and there was one case of “lost or stolen paperwork”.
  • Caerphilly council said six breaches had occurred including an incorrect decision was made on the disclosure of a person’s personal data to a third party, and one person’s personal data was lost within the authority.
  • There were five breaches at Anglesey council including a bag containing papers for a court case being left on a train, documents stolen from a private residence, and a letter, fax and email were sent to the wrong people.
  • Carmarthenshire council failed to answer five requests for information within 40 days. In two of these cases, further information came to light that should have been supplied with the response to the request.
  • Bridgend council had three breaches including a laptop being stolen from a car and a document containing sensitive personal data being sent to the wrong printer.
  • Monmouthshire council said there “were no significant breaches in 2013” while Conwy council said “some events occurred which included sending emails, a fax and correspondence to unintended recipients, and information stolen from a vehicle/property”.
  • There were four breaches at Merthyr Tydfil council along with two atPembrokeshire and three at Denbighshire.
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf council self-reported one breach to the ICO about disclosing personal information through email by accident and Torfaen council had one breach which was an email with personal information sent to the wrong recipient.
  • There were no breaches in 2013 in Blaenau GwentCeredigionNeath Port TalbotVale of Glamorgan and Swansea.

Looking at the above, I’m struck by the report from Powys Council and think that likely requires more information and investigation as to why they have had so many breaches and whether they have adequate controls and agreements in place with external providers. Most of the other reports from councils seem pretty routine – human error and occasional neglect to adequately protect documents from loss or theft.

About the author: Dissent

Comments are closed.