The problem of public sector data breaches was highlighted again in the run up to Easter with three local authorities falling foul of data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office.
The ICO rapped the knuckles of St Albans City and District Council and Warwickshire County Council for failing to encrypt data on portable devices.
In the case of the former, a laptop which was used to store postal voters' records was stolen from a desktop along with three other laptop computers. In the case of Warwickshire it was the theft of two laptops and the loss of a memory stick.
The third local authority in question was the Highland Council, which was found to be in breach of the Data Protection Act after personal data relating to several members of one family was inadvertently disclosed to another unrelated individual.
The chief executives of all three councils have signed undertakings with the ICO promising to ensure a similar breach does not occur again. Encryption and staff education were two of the key recommendations to come from the ICO.
Now these incidents may be small fry when compared to, say, the massive HMRC breach of a few years ago, but nevertheless highlight that the ICO's work is still as important as ever in this area.
Whether progress is being made is another matter, but at least with the new power to fine the worst offending organisations up to £500,000, the ICO's stick can be a lot firmer on those occasions when its carrot is not quite doing the job.
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