UK: East Lancashire councils in data protection mix-up
Sam Chadderton reports:
Two East Lancashire Councils have been accused of unlawfully processing personal details after a data protection mix-up.
Hyndburn Borough Council and Ribble Valley Borough Council both failed to renew registrations with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) register of data controllers.
Any organisation using personal information about the public must be registered.
It means both councils have committed a criminal offence – and they were only made aware of the lapse when the Lancashire Telegraph informed them this week.
The error means that technically, departments such as council tax, benefits, planning, and housing, should have stopped until the registration was renewed.
Okay, maybe they’ll get some fine or have to sign an undertaking with the ICO, but I can’t imagine that they’d really be prosecuted criminally for this oversight, can you?