Leicestershire County Council reported to the ICO that a
briefcase was stolen from a social worker's home which
contained 18 records detailing cases of child neglect and removal
of children from their parents care.
Talking about the security breach, the Information
Commissioner's Head of Enforcement said: "Local
authorities must recognise that social workers are handling some of
the most sensitive information available. While [the Council]
already recognised the risks associated with home working and had
produced guidance for their staff, the guidance did not explain how
papers containing personal information should be kept
The Council have since signed an undertaking with the ICO
committing them to amend their existing policies to include
detailed guidance relating to the security of paper documents while
working from home, training staff on these amended policies,
putting in place appropriate monitoring to ensure compliance and
implementing other security measures to ensure personal data is
This incident should act as a warning to all organisations, not
just those in the public sector, which handle sensitive personal
information that staff should be trained appropriately and that
guidance should be sufficiently robust to deal with home working
and other off-site examples of data security.
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