NHS exposes more people's data than anyone

The NHS loses more people's data than any other organisation in the country, according to a report by the Information Commissioner's Office.

The ICO said it had detailed over 1,000 data breaches, which were largely the result of human or computer error.

The NHS is respsonsible the biggest number of data breaches, but HM Revenue and Customs is still king of the hill as far as the biggest single loss of data goes. It will never live down its infamous loss of two compact discs that contained personal details of 27 million child benefits claimants.

The the loss or theft of hardware made up more than half the 1000 data losses, the ICO said but real, human staff or computers are still quite capable of sending out personal information to the wrong people or letters to the wrong addresses.

The Revenue managed to do just that recently and has apologised for sending details of 50,000 taxpayers to the wrong people.

Deputy information commissioner David Smith reckons better staff training is necessary to combat the problem.

Although the ICO has the power fine organisations up to £500,000 for a sloppy loss of individuals' data it is yet to prosecute anyone.