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Two councils fined a total of £180,000 for serious Data Protection Act breaches

Croydon Council has been served a monetary penalty of £100,000 after “a bag containing papers relating to the care of a child sex abuse victim was stolen from a London pub”.

Norfolk County Council has been served with a fine of £80,000 after it “disclosed information about allegations against a parent and the welfare of their child to the wrong recipient”.

Stephen Eckersley, Head of Enforcement said:

“We appreciate that people working in roles where they handle sensitive information will – like all of us – sometimes have their bags stolen. However, this highly personal information needn’t have been compromised at all if Croydon Council had appropriate security measures in place. 

“One of the most basic rules when disclosing highly sensitive information is to check and then double check that it is going to the right recipient. Norfolk County Council failed to have a system for this and also did not monitor whether staff had completed data protection training.

“While both councils acted swiftly to inform the people involved and have since taken remedial action, this does not excuse the fact that vulnerable children and their families should never have been put in this situation.”