Councils in the UK commit a staggering four data breaches every day, according to a new study.
Published by privacy pressure group Big Brother Watch on August 11th and entitled A Breach of Trust, the report represents the findings of a series of Freedom of Information requests to local authorities. Some 98 per cent of councils nationwide took part.
It found that more than 4,200 data breaches were recorded between 2011 and 2014, of which just over 400 involved the loss or theft of personal information. Furthermore, almost 200 mobile phones, computers, tablets and USB drives belonging to public sector workers also went missing.
Big Brother Watch also learned of 600-plus incidents in which data was wrongly shared via email, letters and faxes, as well as over 5,000 occasions on which letters were sent to the incorrect addresses.
However, just one in ten data breaches resulted in disciplinary action, with fewer than 40 resignations recorded over the three-year period and only one prosecution.
Commenting on the findings, Big Brother Watch director Emma Carr said that “far more could be done” to prevent the loss or theft of personal information stored and processed in the public sector.
“Better training, reporting procedures and harsher penalties available for the most serious of data breaches, including criminal records and custodial sentences are all required,” she continued.
“Until we see these policies implemented, the public will simply not be able to trust local councils with their data.”
It is wise to choose a data recovery company who has a track record in recovering from the type of data loss you have experienced.