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Pay Details of Staff Accidentally Sent Out

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6:02am 23rd November 2011

Pay details for some staff working for Cornwall Council have been accidentally sent out to businesses.

Bosses at County Hall had to contact the people sent the confidential information and ask them to destroy it.

It is one of twenty-five data breaches that have happened at the council over the last three years. They also include a lost memory stick and confidential paperwork disappearing from a bin.

Big Brother Watch says it makes Cornwall Council one of the ten worst performing in the country.

Director Nick Pickles said, “This research highlights a shockingly lax attitude to protecting confidential information across nearly a third of councils. 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.

“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.”

In a statement Cornwall Council said, "No loss of data is acceptable and the Council is clear that when this happens staff must report it. However, as the survey carried out by Big Brother Watch itself recognises, such losses are inevitable in today’s information driven society. This survey helps to raise the profile of the risks involved in handling vast amounts of information in large and complex organisations.  It also helps to remind us all of the importance of working to prevent information losses and acting quickly and thoroughly when they happen."

It said that every data breach is investigated while data on laptops and memory sticks is encrypted so it can not be read if it does go missing.

6:02am 23rd November 2011

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