Search

Fears over possible data leak after council lose £29k of equipment

06:00 05 June 2014

Concerns have been raised over the safety of data on the software that was lost

Concerns have been raised over the safety of data on the software that was lost

Archant

Nearly 50 town hall laptops and phones have been lost or stolen in the last three years – racking up a £29,000 bill and sparking fresh concerns over data protection.

New figures obtained under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request reveal that during last year alone, Islington Council misplaced 28 computers, tablets and mobiles.

The council insist all of the technology lost or stolen was “safely encrypted”.

But the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said that, while there was a “greatly reduced risk” the data could be decoded, it would look to investigate any loss of equipment containing sensitive information as it wouldn’t be completely impenetrable in the hands of a smart hacker.

Cllr Caroline Russell, the sole opposition at the council, described the news as “worrying”.

The Green party councillor for Highbury East, said: “People are human, and losing a laptop is something we know can happen. But 28 this year does seem high and losses of laptops can have worrying implications for protection of data.

“The council needs to be looking at what support it can offer to reduce these types of losses and ensure that when they do happen the implications for data protection are minimised.”

Shocked

Andy Silvester, campaign manager for the Taxpayers Alliance, said: “Local residents, who have paid for these items with their council taxes, will be shocked at the remarkable number that have gone missing.

“You could imagine one or two being lost or being stolen, but losing 28 laptops in one year is astounding. It’s a very big bill for taxpayers to be footing.”

Cllr Andy Hull, Islington Council’s executive member for finance and resources, said: “We issue advice to staff to reduce the likelihood of equipment being lost or stolen and treat all losses seriously, reporting thefts to the police.

“While all council-issued laptops and BlackBerrys are securely encrypted, our priority is rapidly to remove any lost or stolen items from the network and get any lost mobile phones blocked straight away.

“Where a replacement is necessary, we may purchase new stock or replace the lost item with a spare device.”

The revelations follow two data leaks in 2012, for which the council was fined a total of £110,000 by the ICO.

The first saw the council send details of 50 residents on the Andover Estate in Holloway to thugs they had been complaining about, leaving a number of people having to be rehoused.

The council insists that measures and rigorous checks are now in place to prevent any similar breaches in future.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 13:42
Blackfriars Crown Court. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

A Finsbury Park man raped a woman in her sleep before his co-accused kicked her in the back, a court heard.

Yesterday, 15:22
Julia Cheng, founder of House of Absolute. Picture: Vladmir Gruev

For a 13th successive year, Breakin’ Convention, the UK’s biggest hip-hop dance theatre festival, returned to Sadler’s Wells at the weekend. James Morris spoke to one performer, Julia Cheng, and found out her 15-minute piece required 15 days of preparation.

Yesterday, 12:21
The London Charterhouse will be open to the public in November 2016 for the first time in its 660-year history

The London Charterhouse is set to open its doors to the public this autumn for the first time in its 660-year history.

Yesterday, 09:02
islington town hall

A lettings agent and four landlords have been slapped with court bills totalling £20,000 for abusing houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) license practices.

Tue, 17:10
Grafton Primary School went on strike at Freightliners Farm, Holloway, as part of the national campaign against SATs in Key Stage 1. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

It’s 10am and the placards are out. The faces are youthful, but determined. They are on strike against government policy. But these are no junior doctors.

Tue, 12:00
Monty looking sorry for himself at Harmsworth Animal Hospital, Holloway

A severely injured kitten found callously dumped in an Archway bin store late last year has this week become the first pet to be rehomed overseas by the RSPCA.

Tue, 09:35
Holloway Prison

Two hundred inmates at Holloway Prison are today preparing to move 20 miles away to Downview prison in Surrey.

Sunday, May 1, 2016
Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd in Clerkenwell Green to mark the May Day rally. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn today became the first Labour leader in 50 years to address the May Day rally in Clerkenwell Green.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe