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“Custodial sentences for data breaches” says Big Brother Watch

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According to the latest research by the Big Brother Watch thousands of people’s sensitive and personal information has been lost or stolen from councils between April 2011 and April 2014.

Big Brother Watch states in their research that there have been 4,236 data breaches recorded since April 2011.

The Big Brother Watch report was solely created on the responses received to Freedom of Information requests sent out to all local authorities in the UK. The findings proved to be shocking.

The report found that:

  • There had been Data lost or stolen on 401 occasions, with 628 instances of incorrect or inappropriate information being shared on emails, letters and faxes.
  • Over 5,000 letters had been sent to the wrong address or included content meant for another recipient, while there were 99 cases of unauthorised access to or disclosing of data.
  • A total of 197 mobile phones, computers, tablets and USBs were lost or stolen.
  • Shockingly more than two in three incidents led to no disciplinary action at all, while staff resigned in 39 cases and 50 employees were dismissed.
  • Sensitive or confidential information was compromised in 260 of the cases, while breaches involved personal data linked to children on 658 occasions.
Womans Eye

Big Brother Watch’s director Emma Carr said: “Despite local councils being trusted with increasing amounts of our personal data, this report highlights that they are simply not able to say it is safe with them.”

Action is now been taken by the Big Brother Watch and they are now calling for custodial sentences for the most serious data breaches.

Read the full report here

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