The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has slammed councils for their shoddy data handling practices as the total fines against councils races towards £2m.
At the start of the year information commissioner Christopher Graham and the head of the civil service Bob Kerslake wrote a joint letter to council chiefs urging them to improve their data handling security.
In response to these continued failings Graham has hit out at those in charge and urged them to make data protection a higher priority in their organisation.
"It would be far too easy to consider these breaches as simple human error. The reality is that they are caused by councils treating sensitive personal data in the same routine way they would deal with more general correspondence," said Graham.
"Far too often in these cases, the councils do not appear to have acknowledged that the data they are handling is about real people, and often the more vulnerable members of society."
Graham added that while it hoped the fines were getting the message across the ICO was also trying to be proactive in helping organisations understand and meet their obligations.
"There is clearly an underlying problem with data protection in local government and we will be meeting with stakeholders from across the sector to discuss how we can support them in addressing these problems," he said.
The ICO is currently seeking powers from its sponsor organisation, the Ministry of Justice, for powers to audit local councils' data protection compliance systems without consent.
It is also hoping for the same powers against NHS bodies which have also been guilty for some of the most high profile data breaches of recent years.
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