Barnet Council £70k fine for losing data including sexual records of children

07:00 22 May 2012

The files were in a laptop bag along with an encripted computer when they were stolen

The files were in a laptop bag along with an encripted computer when they were stolen

Archant

Barnet Council has been fined £70,000 after details including the names, addresses and sexual activities of 15 vulnerable children were stolen from a social worker’s home.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined the council after it was revealed that the loss was the second time in just over a year that personal information of residents had been stolen from staff members’ homes.

The loss occurred in April 2011 when a social worker took the papers home to work on them out of hours.

The papers were kept in a laptop bag – along with an encrypted computer - which was stolen when her home was burgled that night.

In June 2010, just after the first incident, Barnet Council signed an undertaking with the ICO and introduced a paper handling policy.

This policy - which the council admitted could have prevented the second incident happening - was not in place at the time of the loss in 2011.

An investigation by the ICO found that the council failed to take “appropriate organisational measures” against the accidental loss of personal data held on paper records.

Simon Entwisle, the ICO’s director of operations, said: “While we are pleased that Barnet Council has now taken action to keep the personal data they use secure, it is vitally important that organisations have the correct guidance in place to keep sensitive paper records taken outside of the office safe.

“This includes storing papers containing sensitive information separately from laptops.”

Barnet Council said that the new paper handling policy – which did not allow paper record to be kept with laptops - was in the process of being rolled out to all 3,000 staff when the second loss happened.

A spokesperson said: “This data loss was the result of a criminal act where a member of staff had their house broken into and material that was under lock and key was stolen.

“The ICO also accepts that it was appropriate for the member of staff to have this material at home for this period.

“There is no evidence that the material taken has been misused in any way.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
The capital saw a protest two weeks ago after the Tories were elected (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

As the Queen’s Speech marks the official formation of the Conservative government, anti-austerity protesters are planning to hold a demonstration in Trafalgar Square at 5pm this evening.

Monday, May 25, 2015
As TfL are taking over the London Liverpool Street to Shenfield line, it will now appear on the Tube map.

Train services from Shenfield to London Liverpool Street will be run by TfL from May 31.

Monday, May 18, 2015
Your future Mayor? [Image from YouTube]

Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, Ivan Massow, has transformed himself into a cartoon character in order to get the top job.

Sunday, May 10, 2015
Protestors are surrounded by police (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

All but one of 15 people arrested during a spontaneous anti-austerity protest against the new Tory government have been bailed, police said today.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Voters in Hampstead voted for Ronnie Carroll, who is dead (PA)

A total of 113 people voted for a parliamentary candidate who died four weeks before the election.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Ed Balls has lost his seat (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Ed Balls became the highest-profile casualty of a disastrous General Election performance for Labour, losing his seat to the Conservatives in a shock result. Twitter reacted to his demise...

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Read more
You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more
Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Read more