Local government told to improve data protection
Concerns have been raised about how local government is protecting data in a new report by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The report summerised the findings of over 60 ICO audits between February 2012 and July 2012. It found that while the private sector was effectively looking after people’s data, practises in the public sector are a ‘cause for concern’.
Only one out of 19 organisations provided a high level of assurance to the ICO, leading to calls for the local government to improve how they record where personal information is held and who can access it.
Head of good practice at the ICO, Louise Byers, said: ‘‘The results of these reports show why we have requested an extension to our compulsory audit powers to cover the NHS and local government sectors. Organisations in these areas will be handling sensitive information, often relating to the care of vulnerable people. It is important that we have the powers available to us to help these sectors improve.’
A recent poll showed more than half of public sector staff fail to take precautions to protect sensitive information they are working from.
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