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InfoLawUpdate - Kent police fined £100,000 for data breach

Burnetts' information law solicitor Natalie Ruane discusses a case where Kent police were fined following a data breach.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a £100,000 fine to Kent Police after confidential information (which included a copy of police interview tapes) was left in the basement of a former police station.

The information was discovered when a police officer was visiting the (now) owner of the premises regarding an unrelated matter. The officer noticed the pile of tapes with the logo of Kent Police imprinted on them. The business owner confirmed to the police that he had found the tapes in the basement after purchasing the property and, instead of handing them in, was planning to watch them for entertainment.

After the finding the police visited the property the following day and uncovered hundreds of additional evidence and tapes. These related to informants, victims and individuals who had subsequently been convicted.

Kent police revealed that they had no guidance or a procedure in place to make sure all personal & sensitive information was removed from the premises. There appears also to have been a complete miscommunication between various departments when the police moved from their former premises.

In light of several high-profile misplacing of personal data cases it is pivotal that appropriate guidance and procedures are put in place to prevent situations where personal & sensitive data falls into the wrong hands.

About the author

Natalie Ruane profile photo

Natalie Ruane

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

Published: Friday 9th May 2014
Categorised: Information Law

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