Update: St Albans laptop saga ‘gets worse and worse’

Alexandra Barham reports:

Sensitive data for a further 1,000 people was stored on a laptop thought to have been stolen from St Albans District Council, it has been revealed.

A review of data stored on the council’s missing electoral services computer revealed a file containing the confidential details of an additional 1,000 people, kept to verify postal votes in 2007 and 2008.

The district council’s chief executive Daniel Goodwin revealed the problem to a meeting of the audit committee last night, insisting the loss of further data had only come to light in the last three days.


An investigation continues into the loss of four laptops, one containing 14,673 names, addresses and signatures of postal voters, thought to have been stolen from the council offices last month.

The committee, which met at the district council offices last night to debate the alleged theft, identified serious flaws in the council’s data management procedures and its control of confidential information.

Asked why the names, addresses and signatures of postal voters had not been wiped from the database immediately after an election, Mr Goodwin said staff had no knowledge the details remained on the machine and admitted to remove them would be beyond them.

“There’s no clear instruction to manage that data,” he told the committee. “It’s a big issue for us.”

Read more on St. Albans Review.

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