The Information Commissioner’s Office announced two undertakings today.
The first, involves Martin & Company, a firm of solicitors. In January, 2015, they notified the ICO that a DVD with evidence in a criminal trial had been lost. The DVD had been provided by the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service and contained limited footage showing the defendant entering a room. The DVD was not actually lost by Martin & Company, but by a third party who was asked to collect the DVD on Martin & Company’s behalf. The DVD was mislaid by this third party before it could be handed to Martin & Company. The DVD’s contents were not encrypted.
The Commissioner’s enquiries into this incident have identified a number of shortcomings in the company’s procedures. “In particular, the Commissioner’s investigation determined that guidance to staff regarding data protection compliance was lacking, as was training. It was also determined that there was a lack of a formal procedure for staff to follow when arranging to collect personal data outside of the office environment.” Read the Undertaking.
The second case involves Flybe Limited, who notified the ICO in November, 2014 that a temporary employee had emailed a scanned picture of an individual’s passport to his personal email account.
The Commissioner’s investigation revealed that at the time of the incident, Flybe did not provide data protection training for all staff members who process personal data. This included the temporary member of staff involved in this particular incident. The Commissioner’s investigation also determined that Flybe’s Data Protection Policy was inadequate and provided only limited advice on how the organisation collects; stores; and secures personal data. Read the Undertaking.
So two firms that self-reported incidents wound up with undertakings, whereas one council who failed to report or disclose a breach involving sensitive information and who decided not to notify those affected didn’t even merit an undertaking? That sends a problematic message, I think.