In a press release, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) announced that Southwark Council violated the Data Protection Act when it misplaced a computer and various papers that contained the personal information of 7,200 individuals. Compromised data included names, addresses, ethnic backgrounds, medical histories and criminal convictions. The council has agreed to improve security procedures and will undergo an ICO audit in the next year. The ICO has also found a government advisor guilty of "failure to protect personal information" after a laptop containing unencrypted sensitive information about eight court cases was stolen from her house. Meanwhile, The Bolton News reports that the Bolton Council plans to appeal the ICO's decision regarding the release of staff information in a Freedom of Information Act request, and The Guardian reports that Big Brother Watch says local councils have experienced data breaches at least 1,035 times during the past three years.
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