Council laptop lapses
Two local authorities have been fined by the InformationCommissioner's Office for data protection breaches after laptopscontaining unencrypted information went missing.
Ealing Council and Hounslow Council were fined £80,000 and£70,000, respectively. Ealing's breach arose because two laptopswere stolen from the home of an employee. Hounslow's breach arosebecause it did not have a written contract with EalingCouncil.
Tom Morrison, IP partner at Rollits LLP, says: "It has beenmade crystal clear that every organisation that uses laptopcomputers must make sure that they are encrypted and not justpassword protected.
"If you outsource a function-such as the processing ofpayroll or in this case the operation of an out of hours service-toa contractor then it is you rather than the contractor who retainsprimary liability for compliance with the Act."
Article first published in New Law Journal 17 February 2011www.newlawjournal.co.uk
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