Survey shows local Councils are getting their act together on protection of personal data

2009 Hydref 20 1:04 PM

A survey of all local Councils in Walesconducted by the Welsh Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson,Peter Black, has found that the vast majority have put in placeappropriate policies and procedures to protect personal data they hold.

Mr. Black wrote to all 22 Councils in July and August of this year requesting information regarding their data protection policies and how they are enforced, their policies and security measures for portable media drives, and records of any incidents of personal data loss or improper use of data. Nearly three quarters of them replied to the request. There were only 2 incidents of lost information and 6 cases of improper use of information.

Commenting on the response Mr. Black said:

"The information I have received from councils indicate that they are they have taken controls on handling personal information and incidents of misused data very serously. The majority of authorities have shown that they have very strong policies for Data Protection and ICT Security and are doing their utmost to ensure that security is as airtight as possible."

"I am also pleased with the low number of incidents revealed by the survey that involve lost or improper use of data across the country. Councils must ensure that they have proper monitoring processes in place, so that they are aware when information is being accessed improperly."

"Replies to the survey revealed that where there were incidents of misuse they were dealt with in a serious manner. That is reassuring though there can be no relaxation of controls and strong security measures will still need to be in place to ensure the safety of personal information."

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