Information Commissioner: Over 1,000 data breaches reported

No-one has been fined yet

The number of data breaches reported to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has reached 1,007 as of today.

The breaches, which date back to November 2007, include those that have occurred since the ICO was given the power to award financial penalties for serious data breaches on 6 April. However, the office said that it has yet to exercise this power and confirmed that no organisations have been fined.

Earlier this week, HM Revenue and Customs was forced to apologise to around 50,000 tax claimants after it sent details of tax credit renewal packs to the wrong people.

Although some packs included earnings, bank sort code and last four digits of other claimants' bank accounts, HMRC said the risks of ID theft were low because only a small amount of details were accidentally revealed. It blamed the situation on an "error" in one of its tax credits print runs.

Since the tally revealed at the Infosecurity Europe conference in London last month, which showed that the NHS was responsible for the highest number of breaches, with 287 over the past few years, the latest count shows that the NHS still tops the table, having increased to 305.

Again the majority of the breaches were as a result of data or hardware being stolen (116) or lost (87). These figures had increased from 113 and 82, respectively.

In the 1,007 breaches, the private sector remained second after the NHS, with a reported 288 breaches, followed by the local government, which had 132.

Examples of common personal data losses include the loss of paper documents, such as in December 2009, when documents containing mental health records relating to 1,970 patients were reportedly lost during transit with an external courier. Loss of unencrypted memory sticks is also frequent, including a memory stick that contained social services information on 40 children being found on a public street in Stoke-on-Trent.

David Smith, deputy commissioner, said: "We all know that mistakes can happen but, the fact is that human error is behind a high proportion of security breaches that have been reported to us.

"Organisations should have clear security and disclosure procedures that staff can understand, properly implement these and ensure that they are being followed by staff. Staff must be adequately trained not just in the value of personal information, but in how to protect it."

To help organisations comply with data protection regulations, the ICO has produced a 'Guide to Data Protection', which includes tips on how to minimise the risks of security breaches occuring.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags icodata breachInformation Commissioner's Office

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Anh Nguyen

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?