ICO rules against British Council
Disc loss doh!
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has found the British Council in breach of the Data Protection Act after the loss of an unencrypted computer disc
Details lost include sensitive personal information relating to trade union membership of over 2,000 members of staff.
The British Council reported the data breach to the ICO as soon as it was aware it had taken place.
In response, the ICO has required the orgnisation to sign a formal undertaking of reasonable measures to keep personal information secure in future. These include ensuring that all portable and mobile devices which are used to store and transmit personal information must be encrypted, with immediate effect.
The Undertaking has been signed on behalf of the British Council by the chief executive, Martin Davidson.
Mick Gorrill, assistant information commissioner at the ICO, said: "The British Council proactively reported the breach to the ICO and took immediate remedial action which demonstrates its understanding of the seriousness of this data loss. The Data Protection Act clearly states that organisations must take appropriate measures to ensure that personal information is kept secure.
"The organisation also agrees to ensure that its policies on the transfer and sharing of personal information on portable devices are clear and compliant with government standards."
Failure to meet the terms of the undertaking would lead to further enforcement action by the ICO.
This article was originally published at Kablenet.
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Don't forget to...
make sure it's a good password (say P@ssw0rd) and write the password on the disc.
Where are the teeth in all this?
Who was it that said treaties were just "pieces of paper", to be torn up and thrown away when they'd run their course of usefulness? Hitler? Stalin? Bismarck?
Signing a pledge is so useless and ineffective as to be risible. Excuse me for a second while I laugh appropriately: ha ha ha ha ha ha, you've got to be kidding!
It's time to make explicit the linkage between executive pay and performance, by making organization heads *personally* liable for fuckups like this. If whoever's the head of the British Council had to pay, say, £200 per person whose data was lost, I think you'd soon see the British Council become a model for guarding data.
Since modern management methods include rejection of the premise that the buck stops on anybody's desk, least of all the head man's, it's time for teeth — and sharp ones! — to be embodied in the law. I will, however, be kind and generous and exempt from such draconian penalties pay up to the amount made by the lowest paid person in the organization.
The equation then becomes explicit: you want all that extra pay? Then do the work involved. You're not allowed to take credit for what goes right if you don't also accept responsibility for what goes wrong.
The idea has to be expunged from society that once you get the pay and perks of being in management you are free to do anything you damned well please. Quite the contrary: given the excessively high pay to executives, it's only reasonable to hold them to an equally excessive high standard of behavior.
PS: There's an objection to this scheme: it would encourage organizations to hide their malfeasances. Let's deal with that by increasing the fine ten-fold if there's evidence of hiding the facts.
"the ICO has required the orgnisation to sign a formal undertaking of reasonable measures to keep personal information secure in future."
Yes, heaven forbid the ICO actually punish them...