Feeds

Barnet and West Sussex breach DPA

Unencrypted USB, CDs AWOL with 9,000 kids' details

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The Information Commissioner's Office has taken action against Barnet and West Sussex councils after the theft of IT containing sensitive data about children.

The watchdog said that personal information about children had been lost by the two authorities because of a "systemic" lack of staff IT training. Both councils were found to have breached the Data Protection Act.

In the case of LB Barnet, an unencrypted, non-password protected USB stick and CDs containing sensitive personal information about more than 9,000 children and their families were stolen from the home of a staff member.

According to the ICO, the employee had downloaded the data onto the unencrypted devices without authorisation. But it was later discovered that Barnet provided neither training nor security to prevent such downloads.

Before the incident, the ICO had conducted an audit of the north London authority that highlighted a lack of staff training.

A similar incident occurred at West Sussex CC when a laptop with personal information about an unknown number of children involved in childcare proceedings was taken from the home of an employee.

Again the laptop was unencrypted and enquiries by the ICO revealed that the employee had received no formal training on data protection or IT security.

The ICO also found that more than 2,300 unencrypted laptops were likely to be in use across West Sussex's various services, although steps are now being taken to encrypt these.

Barnet and West Sussex have now signed formal agreements to ensure that staff will be made fully aware of their respective policies for the storage and use of personal data.

Furthermore, the authorities have undertaken to provide training on data protection and IT security and to ensure that portable devices used to store sensitive information are encrypted.

Sally-Anne Poole, enforcement group manager at the ICO, said: "These councils have shown a poor regard for the importance of protecting children's personal information.

"It is essential that councils ensure the correct preventative safeguards are in place when storing and transferring personal information, especially when it concerns sensitive information relating to children.

"A lack of awareness and training in data protection requirements can lead to personal information falling into the wrong hands."

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.