Search

Hundreds of data protection breaches investigated at Norfolk and Suffolk councils

PUBLISHED: 06:46 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:32 19 June 2017

One of the most common causes of data protection breaches at councils is information being emailed to the wrong person. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

One of the most common causes of data protection breaches at councils is information being emailed to the wrong person. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

There have been hundreds of data protection breaches at our councils in the last two years, including information sent to the wrong people, being lost or even stolen.

This newspaper asked Norfolk County Council for details of data protection breaches under the Freedom of Information Act, after it was fined £60,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in March for leaving files that included sensitive information about children in a cabinet sent to a second hand shop in April 2014.

In the same year, another serious data protection breach was referred to the ICO by the council. In this case information was left insecure and released “inappropriately” to a third person, the council said.

The ICO visited the council last year to investigate its data protection measures.

It found there was “reasonable assurance” that “processes and procedures are in place and delivering data protection compliance”.

However, over the last two years, there have been 280 breaches investigated by the council. The most common was information being sent to the wrong email or postal address. This happened 112 times.

That was followed by information “inappropriately” disclosed in writing or orally to people outside of the council, which happened 67 times.

There were also breaches from equipment being stolen (once), and information or equipment being lost (12 times).

On six occasions information was inappropriately accessed by council employees.

This newspaper also asked the council how many of these breaches resulted in disciplinary proceedings. They said this happened in a “small number of cases” but would not say how many.

A spokesman for the council said: “We handle a huge amount of personal data every day and we take our duty to protect data seriously. So we decided to record every data incident no matter how small and carefully investigate and review these incidents with a view to taking our findings into account in our procedures for staff and in our training.

“In many cases there has been no loss of data or sharing of data outside of the authority; for example, many relate to emails sent to the wrong person within the organisation.”

2 comments

  • Now then Council Hater.. Im the militant one who says it as it should be said, and now you're trying to take the number 1 spot!! I fully agree,incompetant,undertrained,brainless,gormless overpaid, underworked morons running the show.They need well trained staff, by well trained competent people, not just given a quick "hands on approach"learn as you golearn by the mistakes you will make, get on with it, sod the consequences attitude.This is a trait of society in this modern age, they don't give a f**k about the outcome of their mistakes.Not held accountable for their actions.Ok, we are only human, mistakes can be made, but the majority of the time its down to bad workmanship, and not being trained correctly to do the task that the job entails.Yes, sack them let them wait 8 weeks or more for their Universal Credit payments to start,see how they like that inefficient system!!! Give them a bit of their own medicine.The authority wouldn't say how many people had disciplinary action taken against them, why?Embarrased, or just covering up that none got action taken against them, just a telling off...A scandal when they refuse to answer questions that should be legally answered.No time for them...Detest the way they protect their own people..Cover up, cover up, cover up.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    yarco boy

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • Which goes to show how much incompetent rubbish these councils employ (probably relatives of friends), and just how many should be sacked immediately, with no handouts.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Council-hater

    Monday, June 19, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Norfolk News visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Norfolk News staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Norfolk News account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other news

39 minutes ago

A once in a lifetime proposal to bolster sea defences at Bacton Gas Terminal and nearby villages, Bacton and Walcott, is set to be discussed at North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) next cabinet meeting.

10 minutes ago

A man is wanted on recall to prison after breaching the terms of his licence.

11:59

Exit packages worth nearly £2.8m were paid to 191 Norfolk County Council workers who were made redundant last year, figures have revealed.

Yesterday, 21:02

Aggressive tactics by large corporations to swallow up independent stores will not be tolerated in Cromer, local business leaders have warned.

Most Read

Yesterday, 21:51

An abandoned dog, canoe and wetsuit prompted fears someone may be in trouble in the water at a beauty spot in the Broads.

Read more
Yesterday, 21:02

Aggressive tactics by large corporations to swallow up independent stores will not be tolerated in Cromer, local business leaders have warned.

Read more
Tim Adams
Yesterday, 14:54

Organisers of a popular north Norfolk music festival are appealing for volunteers to help run stalls and games at the annual event, which regularly raises more than £3,000 for local good causes.

Read more
Suffolk
39 minutes ago

A once in a lifetime proposal to bolster sea defences at Bacton Gas Terminal and nearby villages, Bacton and Walcott, is set to be discussed at North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) next cabinet meeting.

Read more
North Norfolk District Council
Yesterday, 08:29

A Conservative councillor has resigned from the ruling administration at North Norfolk District Council - citing concerns over her party’s leadership.

Read more
Tom FitzPatrick

Most Commented

11:59

Exit packages worth nearly £2.8m were paid to 191 Norfolk County Council workers who were made redundant last year, figures have revealed.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

Norman Lamb will not stand for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats because of a split with the party over Brexit.

Read more
Tim Farron
Yesterday, 11:34

Twelve ‘Big Belly’ bins that can take about eight times as much litter as traditional street bins are being installed in Cromer and Wells.

Read more
Cromer
Yesterday, 21:02

Aggressive tactics by large corporations to swallow up independent stores will not be tolerated in Cromer, local business leaders have warned.

Read more
Tim Adams

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 16°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Norfolk News e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter