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Council breaches Data Protection Act

A spreadsheet containing names, salaries and dates of birth of almost 900 employees, past and present, was accidentally published online and available to be viewed for 2 months, the Information Commissioner’s Office has revealed.

A Freedom of Information Request led to the disclosure of the information, and was removed after a complaint made by a trade union.

Ken Macdonald, Assistant Commissioner for Scotland at the ICO said:

“Being open about council pay is a fundamental way that citizens can hold local authorities to account, but that should never be at the expense of upholding individuals’ privacy rights. Procedures clearly went wrong in this case and I’m pleased that the council is reviewing its practices in light of the lessons that have been learned.”

DataWise, a service by Absolute Data, offers a free one-hour consultation to any organisation, which serves to highlight any data risks that might be being taken. The findings of the consultation can then suggest a whole array of services aimed to help you ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act.

Absolute Data is committed to ensuring companies and organisations, regardless of their size, create and follow realistic policies and procedures that are above the law. We can help your organisation create robust and effective data protection policies and procedures: we can spend some time getting to know what data-related activity your business partakes in, and ensure that your policies and procedures reflect this activity. We can also help to train your staff; not only in the importance of data protection, but how they can ensure they are fully adhering to data protection law. With the ICO’s power to fine up to £500,000 for data breaches, it is worth getting in touch with us to discuss how your organisation can ensure legal data compliance. Contact us now at, or call us on 01423 790125.