At least 35 councils admitted to losing private information about children
Personal data has been lost by 132 UK local councils since 2008, according to a report published by Big Brother Watch (BBW).
There were a total of 1,035 incidents of data loss between August 2008 and August 2011, with only 55 reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the report added.
At least 35 councils admitted to losing private information about children. At least 244 laptops, 98 memory sticks and 93 mobile devices were lost.
Big Brother Watch, commenting on the losses, said this highlighted a "shockingly lax attitude" to protecting confidential information by some councils.
"This research highlights a shockingly lax attitude to protecting confidential information across nearly a third of councils," said Big Brother Watch director Nick Pickles. Despite having access to increasing amounts of data and being responsible for even more services, local authorities are simply not able to say our personal information is safe with them."
Despite the huge number of incidents, only nine people lost their jobs. "The fact that only a tiny fraction of staff have been dismissed brings into question how seriously managers take protecting the privacy of their service users and local residents," added Pickles.
Buckinghamshire and Kent were the worst offenders with a total of 72 incidents each. Essex was third on 62, with Northamptonshire in the fourth position with 46.