Burnetts logo

InfoLawUpdate - Council’s guilty of losing sensitive information

Burnetts' information law solicitor Natalie Ruane examines a case where two separate councils were found guilty of losing sensitive information.

Berkshire Council, after an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has been found in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 after highly sensitive social services records relating to young children were lost. The information was lost when a delivery driver left the documents outside the requester’s home in August 2013. The delivery driver did not realise that the documents were sensitive and was not told that the documents were meant to be signed for.

Merseyside Council have also been in trouble with the ICO as a result of sensitive information being delivered to the incorrect address. The ICO found that the Council had no mandatory checks in place that made sure sensitive documents and information were being sent to the correct address.

Both these cases highlight careless errors that could easily have been prevented. The errors highlight the vital importance of both good quality staff training and effective communication with third parties who may be handling the sensitive information (such as delivery drivers, couriers and postal companies).

About the author

Natalie Ruane profile photo

Natalie Ruane

Natalie leads the Employment Law & HR team and specialises in education.

Published: Friday 9th May 2014
Categorised: Information Law

All Factsheets