Kent Tops Data Loss Survey

New research from privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch claims that in the past three years, local authorities have seen at least 1035 incidents of data being lost and stolen.


The survey puts Kent joint top with Buckinghamshire with seventy two incidents and highlights two. The first when scanned case notes relating to children found on Facebook; the second when an Outreach worker lost a memory stick containing personal data of 30 pupils from 16 schools including assessment results.

Heart asked Kent County Council for a response to the claims.

This is their statement

"In any survey, it is no surprise that we come out top as we are the largest shire authority in the country, which means that we handle a proportionally larger amount of information, but we do understand the distress caused by any loss of data. Clearly, we would look at each case individually and take appropriate action depending on the severity of the case, which could include dismissal.

“We have a robust information security incident protocol in place, so consequently we log, monitor and investigate all reports of any alleged security breaches, regardless of cause or eventual outcome. We also routinely publish statistics of alleged data protection breaches on our website.

"Some of the incidents are beyond our control as the loss of data is as a result of a crime - for example, items have been stolen. Some of the incidents transpired not to be KCC's fault at all. Indeed the Facebook example cited was as a result of a family member posting scanned images of social service case notes (obtained via court proceedings) on the web. The Information Commissioner's Office considered KCC blameless in this case.

"We are continually monitoring our procedures to make sure we have the correct policies in place to be able to deal with such incidents of personal data being lost, stolen or shared inappropriately and we also take preventative action for example, equipment such as laptops are encrypted to protect the data they may contain against unauthorised access.''