Lib Dems condemn slowness of response to damaging Islington Council data leak

Councillor Terry Stacy

Councillor Terry Stacy - Credit: Archant

Fury has erupted over the fallout from a council data leak which means there will be no action taken from the Information Commissioner’s Office for another year.

The blunder resulted in six families being rehoused after the details of 51 people were leaked to the same thugs they had complained about in April 2012.

While Islington Council was forced to pay £50,000 for extra policing on the Andover Estate, where the details were leaked, and more than £40,000 in compensation to a group of 14 residents, it escaped punishment by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

But as part of the deal, the council had to submit to an audit to the ICO – which it is now been revealed will not take place until February 2015 – nearly three years after the leak took place.

Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of Islington Council’s opposition Liberal Democrat group, said: “This is a disgusting way to treat the residents of the Andover Estate.

“Lives were put in danger by the council’s data leak. They have dodged a fine by just promising to improve their systems. Now we find out they have been given another year to get their house in order. That should be enough time even for this council that is so incompetent at keeping residents’ personal information safe.

“This will be three years after the Andover data leak. It looks like the council will get away scot-free and the residents will be forgotten.”

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Three months after the Andover blunder, a second leak – in which the council published sensitive details including sexual preference, ethnicity, religion and mental health problems of some 2,400 residents – saw the ICO fine the council £70,000.

A spokesman for the ICO said: “Our good practice team approached a number of local authorities asking them to submit to an audit. February 2014 was the slot allocated to Islington Council.”