British privacy office fines three councils in two days

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Council fined $118,000 for email bungle.

A local council in Britain has been slapped with an $A118,000 fine marking the third to be fined in two days following a series of privacy bungles last year.

The British Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) fined Cheshire East Council £80,000 ($A118,000) after an email with sensitive details was sent to the wrong person.

It followed two ICO fines to Croydon Council for £100,000 ($A147,000) and Norfolk County Council for £80,000 for separate cases of lost personal details.

According to the ICO, the "serious" breach of the British Data Protection Act occurred in May 2011 when a council employee was asked to alert local voluntary workers to a police force's concerns about an individual who was working in the area.

However, instead of sending an email via the council's secure system, the employee sent it to the local voluntary sector co-ordinator via her personal email account as the co-ordinator did not have access to the secure system.

The email contained the name and an alleged alias for the individual as well as information about the concerns British police had about him. This was forwarded by the co-ordinator to 100 intended recipients.

Also, as the email did not have any clear markings or advice on how it was to be treated, the recipients interpreted the wording of the message to mean that they too should forward the email to other voluntary workers. This meant that the email was sent to 180 unintended recipients; an attempt to recall the email led to 57 per cent of the recipients confirming that they had deleted the information.

Stephen Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO, said: “While we appreciate that it is vitally important for genuine concerns about individuals working in the voluntary sector to be circulated to relevant parties, a robust system must be put in place to ensure that information is appropriately managed and carefully disclosed.

“Cheshire East Council also failed to provide this particular employee with adequate data-protection training. The highly sensitive nature of the information and the need to restrict its circulation should have been made clear to all recipients.”

This article originally appeared at scmagazineuk.com

Copyright © SC Magazine, UK edition


British privacy office fines three councils in two days
 
 
 
Top Stories
NBN to offer TV connections through fibre for greenfields
Ditching aerials to come at a cost.
 
Tech SWAT teams kicking down the digital door
From dam engineers in Ecuador to Sydney light-rail gurus, Cardno's global CIO Karen Wagner is linking up her widespread organisation.
 
AusPost board approves Fujitsu outsourcing
End user computing to be handed over to partner.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Is site blocking effective in stopping piracy?


   |   View results
Yes
  2%
 
No
  85%
 
Somewhat
  13%
TOTAL VOTES: 644

Vote