IT Systems and Data Protection

18.04.18

London council fined £120,000 for personal data breach

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has been fined £120,000 for unlawfully sharing the personal details of the owners of vacant properties in the borough.

The data breach came in response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request from some media outlets who sought to highlight the inequality in the region between those who could afford to leave their properties empty, and the residents of Grenfell Tower, who lived in relative poverty.

Personal information about 943 empty property owners was accidentally shared when a list of empty properties was compiled by copying and pasting the information without removing the underlying personal data.

Consequently, the figures were published on a newspaper’s website along with the names of three high-profile owners.

Although the breach was accidental, the Information Commissioner said that the council failed to take appropriate organisational measures to protect against the unauthorised processing of personal data.

The ICO acknowledged that the local authority was obliged to comply with the FoI, but that “at the time of the security breach, the feeling of social inequality was running high in this wealthy borough. Such disclosure therefore required guidance and oversight.”

The council itself notified the commissioner of the data breach and carried out a full investigation.

The £120,000 fine must be paid in full by 11 May, and if payment is received before that date the amount will reduce by 20% to £96,000.

A spokesperson for the borough said: “It was an error and we apologise. We accept the fine, and we have reviewed our processes to prevent this happening again.”

Top image: hanieriani

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Councillors approve plans for HS2 transformation at Leeds Station

17/10/2018Councillors approve plans for HS2 transformation at Leeds Station

Councillors have endorsed a “milestone” plan to transform Leeds station in preparation for HS2 arriving in the area. The Leeds C... more >
Scandal-hit Conservative council elects Labour leader

16/10/2018Scandal-hit Conservative council elects Labour leader

Labour have managed to take control of a Conservative-led council following an “internal war” among the Tory councillors, with Labour... more >
Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

16/10/2018Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

UK councils detected or prevented a total of £302m in fraud in 2017-18, according to CIPFA. The organisation found that the number of ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Councillors approve plans for HS2 transformation at Leeds Station

17/10/2018Councillors approve plans for HS2 transformation at Leeds Station

Councillors have endorsed a “milestone” plan to transform Leeds station in preparation for HS2 arriving in the area. The Leeds City Council executive board approved the strategic... more >
Thousands of babies at risk of harm due to children’s services cuts

17/10/2018Thousands of babies at risk of harm due to children’s services cuts

Almost 16,000 babies are growing up in “toxic” households where they are at risk of harm following unprecedented financial strain on children’ services, according to a report by... more >

the raven's daily blog

What cities should become

15/10/2018What cities should become

Tom Leaver, project manager at Future Cities Catapult, examines the rationale behind the creation of the City Data Sharing Toolkit, and explores how this is driving a seismic shift in how cities evolve into our data-rich future. We’re used to big-screen sci-fi future cities being dystopian monoliths to everything wrong with the worl... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Inspiring leadership in social value

15/10/2018Inspiring leadership in social value

We have learned a lot since the last National Social Value Conference, with many organisations both in the public and private sectors now embeddi... more >
Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

15/10/2018Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

David Phillips, associate director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, discusses the current health of local government finance, and how a bette... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
The Convention of the North

15/10/2018The Convention of the North

Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool City Region, discusses the findings of the very first Convention of the North, which was held in Newcastle... more >

interviews

Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 2004 as deputy ombudsman. At the start of 2017, he was appointed as the ... more >
Helping a city understand itself

06/08/2018Helping a city understand itself

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The urban landscape is changing. How can local authorities keep up with citizen behaviour? Stephen Leece, managing directo... more >
Modern policing: the future is bright

06/08/2018Modern policing: the future is bright

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The public sector, and policing in particular, has often been criticised as being slow to adapt to change. But now, says L... more >

public sector focus

View all News