Hampshire County Council fined £100,000
The ICO have hit the Hampshire county council with a fine of £100,000 after an astonishing amount of confidential paperwork was found onsite. 45 bags of confidential waste and social care files were found in an old disused building by the new owners in August 2014. The files found contained highly sensitive information about children and adults in vulnerable circumstances. If these records were to get in the wrong hands the result could have been extremely distressing to everyone involved.
Investigations found that the council had failed to have the right procedures in place to prevent the confidential details from being destroyed or accidently lost.
The building itself took a 2 years to sell, but this does mean that the agents selling the property and potential buying had full access to this confidential information.
An interview with the head of enforcement was published on the ICO website states:
“Hampshire County Council failed to ensure that highly sensitive personal data about adults and children in vulnerable circumstances was disposed of.
“The council knew the building had housed a department that dealt with confidential information and should have had a proper procedure in place to check no personal data was left in the building. Organisations must implement effective contingency plans to protect personal data when decommissioning buildings.
“The council’s failure to look after this information was irresponsible. It not only broke the law but put vulnerable people at risk.”