Wolverhampton City Council has proven its surprisingly complacent approach to disposing of sensitive data, as well as its apparent disregard for the privacy of the inhabitants within the area.
Documents containing medical records, employment statuses and bank details were fly tipped after being disposed around the back of a leisure centre, in a skip! The skip was later stolen and perhaps luckily the documents it contained discarded.
A subsequent investigation by the ICO revealed no surprises then by finding that the council was in breach of the Data Protection Act.
A relatively large understatement was released by the Chief of Operations for Wolverhampton, Simon Entwisle “The breach demonstrated how important it is that staff who handle data have a good understanding of the need to keep it safe at all times.”
It is appalling that data is still treated in such as haphazard way after there have been so many mistakes in the past. Previously for example the records of 25 million people were lost in the post. It is good that the ICO is efficient at recognising such data breaches – but there should be much harsher punishment for those in breach.
However since, Chief Executive Simon Warren has been made to sign a disclosure stating that he will ensure staff are properly trained in the future, in how to dispose of sensitive public data.
“The thought of people’s data being dumped on the street is worrying enough, not to mention what could have happened if it had fallen into the wrong hands. I am pleased that the council has taken the necessary steps to ensure that this type of breach does not happen again.”