UK: Council blunders put personal data at risk

Simon Murphy reports:

Personal details of more than 16,000 residents were lost when a council’s computer memory stick went missing.

A series of data protection blunders by West Sussex County Council since 2008 have left the personal information of children and adults at risk.

Children’s case material, court records, and social care reports were among 60 breaches, caused mainly by the theft of laptops, Blackberrys and USB sticks.

There were also scores of breaches caused by human error.

In 2010, 16,400 people’s personal details went missing after a council worker lost a USB stick.

The data was subsequently recovered and the council stresses that all victims were informed by letter. The employee escaped disciplinary action.

In 2009, the medical reports of children who were the  subject of child protection cases were left in a bag that was donated in error to a charity shop.

Five children were affected but their parents were not informed. In total the council lost the details of 16,540 people but the actual number could be much higher.

Read more on The Argus.

About the author: Dissent