Scottish council leaks names, salaries, info of 900 people

Dumfries and Galloway's FoI accident was on its website for 2 MONTHS...

Dumfries and Galloway council mistakenly disclosed personal information on about 900 current and former staff as part of a response to an enquiry made under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said the council accidentally published a spreadsheet which contained the names, salaries and dates of birth of nearly 900 people. The information was then available online for more than two months between March and June.

Ken Macdonald, assistant information commissioner for Scotland, said: "Being open about council pay is a fundamental way that citizens can hold local authorities to account, but that should never be at the expense of upholding individuals' privacy rights.

"Procedures clearly went wrong in this case and I'm pleased that the council is reviewing its practices in light of the lessons that have been learned."

According to the ICO, Dumfries and Galloway has since commissioned an external audit of its procedures for responding to information requests.

The council said it will address any weaknesses uncovered during the audit by January 2012. It will also introduce checks to ensure the handling of personal data complies with the Data Protection Act.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

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