William Eichler 30 September 2021

Many councils ‘not compliant’ with data protection law

Many councils ‘not compliant’ with data protection law image

Only 12% of UK councils are compliant with GDPR when it comes to Article 5 principles relating to processing of personal data, a freedom of information request has revealed.

The Software Bureau, which powers Clean Contacts, sent out a FOI request to all UK councils in August asking how they kept their personal data up to date and accurate, particularly pertaining to home movers and people that have passed away.

Out of the 207 local authorities that responded, 12% admitted that they do not keep their data up to date and do not have any processes in place to clean or delete data.

Twenty per cent of the respondents provided a vague affirmative that they had a process to keep records clean but did not specify what these were or how regularly the data was updated.

Thirteen percent of councils refused the request on the basis that it would be too costly and time consuming to respond and 15% requested clarification as to what was meant by ‘data accuracy’ or ‘consumer data’ despite the question using the explicit wording given in GDPR Article 5.

Over a quarter of councils (28%) admitted that they only updated their data when informed by a constituent that they had moved house or that a family member had passed away.

Commenting on the findings, The Software Bureau’s Ben Warren said: ‘Data hygiene is a clear part of GDPR and by failing to have specific and regular processes in place to keep data accurate and up-to-date, many councils in the UK are not compliant with the current data protection law.

‘The fact that only 12% believe that they are compliant shows that more education and work is needed by the public sector.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Road Worker

City of Bradford MDC
Band 6 £20,043 - £22,129 pa
Bradford Metropolitan District Council is looking for two Road Workers to join the Highway Delivery Unit. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Senior Practitioner - Family Support and Protection

Essex County Council
£41552 - £50290 per annum + + Free Parking & Local Gov Package
Closing Date
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Planning Enforcement Officer

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning
Grade 5, £30,737 - £35,747 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Greater Cambridge Planning Enforcement Team Cambourne/Cambridge/Hybrid
Recuriter: Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Assistant Engineer / Engineer

City of Bradford MDC
£24,920 - £34,373 pa
This is an opportunity to join the highway maintenance team Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Technician - Maintenance Programmes (3 Posts)

Derbyshire County Council
£23,657 - £25,568 per annum - Plus market leading package (see below)
This is an exciting time to join our in-house Highways Service Hybrid
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.