Scottish councils lose personal data of 10,000


Hundreds of council data security incidents have led to the loss of data on more than 10,000 people in Scotland over the past five years, figures released under freedom of information laws have revealed.

Laptops containing images of children were lost, as was confidential pension information and Blackberry devices containing sensitive emails. These breaches were amongst more than 250 incidents, Scottish Conservatives said.

Personal information on nearly 4,500 people had been lost over 47 incidents at West Lothian council alone.

Highland council was said to have lost personal data belonging to more 1,800 people in nine cases. And East Lothian saw data losses affecting more than 1,200 residents.

The party also highlighted cases at Aberdeenshire Council, where two laptops were stolen in one year, with the devices containing images of school children. This was followed by the loss of a CD containing images of pupils and a USB device with other data on children.

But the full impact could be even higher than the 10,000 figure with some authorities unable to disclose the number of individuals affected.


These FOI responses are helpful, but it’s a shame that there’s no requirement for full public disclosure at the time incidents occur. We shouldn’t have to wait until a year or two — or five — later to find out the state of security.

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