Nottingham County Council fined £70,000 for data leak

The data of 3,000 vulnerable people was accessible through Google

The ICO has hit Nottingham County Council with a 70,000 fine for failing to safeguard its citizens' data, which led to anyone being able to view the information online.

The problem was exposed when a member of the public was able to read the data online stored in the council's Home Care Allocation System (HCAS) following a Google search. Nottingham County Council didn't implement any kind of security to stop people being able to access files, such as a login.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The data, which is thought to have been accessible for over five years, held details on whether disabled and elderly people were in hospital and included the gender, addresses, postcodes and care requirements of the individuals. The concern was that criminals could access the data and use the information to break into peoples' homes while they were away.

"This was a serious and prolonged breach of the law. For no good reason, the council overlooked the need to put robust measures in place to protect people's personal information, despite having the financial and staffing resources available," ICO Head of Enforcement Steve Eckersley said.

"Given the sensitive nature of the personal data and the vulnerability of the people involved, this was totally unacceptable and inexcusable. Organisations need to understand that they have to treat the security of data as seriously as they take the security of their premises or their finances."

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

The breach was first reported in June 2016, when it contained a directory of 81 service users and the data of more than 3,000 people. Not included in the data was the patients' names, although the ICO said it would be easy enough for people to find this information out from other sources if they wanted to.

Featured Resources

The case for a marketing content hub

Transform your digital marketing to deliver customer expectations

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

IT faces new security challenges in the wake of COVID-19

Beat the crisis by learning how to secure your network

Download now


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

ICO to relax GDPR enforcement during coronavirus economic downturn

16 Apr 2020
Information Commissioner

What is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)?

15 Apr 2020
data breaches

Printing company exposes 343GB of sensitive military data

20 Mar 2020

How to protect against a DDoS attack

25 Oct 2019

Most Popular

Server & storage

Dell EMC PowerEdge R7525 review: An EPYC core density to make Intel weep

26 May 2020
Network & Internet

Intel releases Wi-Fi and Bluetooth driver updates for Windows 10

26 May 2020
Microsoft Windows

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update is causing yet more issues

26 May 2020