A campaign group has recently announced which are the 10 worst county councils for losing private data of people in their areas. West Sussex County Council has been named as one of the worst offenders and it appears at number seven on the list. The campaign group to compile these figures is called Big Brother Watch.
The report stated that in the last three years people from the county council have lost or have had stolen 16 laptops and 13 smart phones. The council has retaliated against the report saying that this number is inaccurate and that most of the items that were stolen were low risk. It claims that over the last three years there have only been four items stolen that were of the medium or high risk.
Maria Fort, who is the research director for Big Brother Watch has stated, “We have looked at cases from West Sussex county council where devices like BlackBerries have been stolen or lost. There were also several incidents of paper files going missing but these are generally less sensitive than the digital counterparts. The council view many of the items stolen as low risk and this is part of the problem, sensitive data is stored on these devices and it is important that the council understands the seriousness of having to protect these.”
Big Brother Watch managed to get the information through Freedom of Information requests which it made to all the councils in the UK. Fortunately, many of the devices that were stolen had security in place. All of the BlackBerry devices from West Sussex county council were able to be wiped remotely.