An investigation by Big Brother Watch has shown the true extent of data loss and misplacement by local authorities in the UK.
Every Local Authority in the UK was issued with a Freedom of Information request asking about data loss for the three years up until July 2011, from the information gained from the 132 local authorities who did respond, BBW found there were 1035 incidents of data loss including evidence that more than
- 244 laptops and portable computers
- 98 memory sticks
- 93 mobile devices
According to the report in the three years of information requested Stoke-on-Trent City Council had the following breaches of data security.
- 2 case files misplaced during an office move – Adult care information
- Lost Blackberry device – Not recorded, device security locked and encrypted
- Memory stick lost in Hanley – Children’s Services case files of approximately 40 individuals’ records held on device
- Memory stick lost on car park which was found and returned – Encrypted data
- Ring binder containing data on 3 service users were left within a secure council compound but accessible to council staff from another team – Copies of social work data
Stoke-on-Trent are not the best, as a number of authorities who responded to the requests said they had had no breaches and they are nowhere near the worst when you look at the top ten worst authorities in the report.
- Buckinghamshire (72 incidents)
- Kent (72)
- Essex (62)
- Northamptonshire (48)
- North Yorkshire (46)
- Renfrewshire (41)
- West Sussex (36)
- Tower Hamlets (31)
- Telford and Wrekin (30)
- Cornwall (25)