Latest Public Sector News

23.08.13

Sensitive details of 2,000 residents released by Islington Council

Islington Council has been charged with a £70,000 penalty after personal details of over 2,000 residents were released online. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) charged the council and called for measures to be put in place to avoid a repeat of their mistakes. 

Information relating to residents’ housing needs, including details of history of mental illness or if they had been victims of domestic abuse, were inadvertently released in response to a FoI request. 

The council released three spreadsheets on June 26 and 27, which remained available until July 14, when an administrator for the website identified the error. The ICO found that Islington had been alerted to the problem shortly after the first spreadsheet was published, but had failed to correct the error. 

ICO head of enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, said: “This mistake not only placed sensitive personal information relating to residents at risk, but also the highlighted the lack of training and expertise within the council. Councils are trusted with sensitive personal information, and residents are right to expect it to be handled in a proper way. Unfortunately, in this case that did not happen, and Islington Council must now explain to residents how it will stop these mistakes being repeated.” 

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