Councils lose personal details of 10,000 Scots
COUNCILS across Scotland have lost or misplaced the personal data of more than 10,000 Scots over the past five years.
More than 250 incidents have emerged, including the loss of laptops containing images of schoolchildren, papers containing confidential pension details and BlackBerry phones containing sensitive e-mails.
West Lothian Council has lost the personal details of nearly 4,500 people in 47 separate occasions, according to the figures, released through Freedom of Information to the Conservatives.
Tory local government spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell said councils were not doing “nearly enough” to protect individuals from data losses.
“It is unacceptable that many could not even estimate how many people had been affected by their losses,” she said.
“It is evident that this kind of personal information falling into the wrong hands can cause very serious problems.
“If some councils can keep a clean record on personal information losses, there is absolutely no excuse as to why others appear unable to do so.”
A spokesman for West Lothian Council said its losses were largely down to one incident in which 4,001 landlords’ e-mail addresses were made public.
“We have learned from that and put procedures in place so it didn’t happen again,” he said.
Highland Council lost the personal details of more than 1,800 individuals in nine incidents, while East Lothian presided over the loss of more than 1,200 pieces of personal data.
A Highland Council spokesman said: “We make every attempt to ensure our security measures are robust.”
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