The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has criticised three local authorities for breaching the Data Protection Act.
The West Sussex County Council, the London Borough of Barnet and Buckinghamshire County Council were found to have lost sensitive data related to children.
The ICO stated that the council workers are unaware of data protection measures and had a casual attitudes when it comes to protecting it.
An unencrypted laptop containing highly sensitive information about an unspecified number of children was stolen from the West Sussex County Council.
The Buckinghamshire County Council lost documents containing sensitive data about two children and an employee in the London Borough of Barnet lost an unencrypted USB stick and several unprotected CDs containing highly sensitive personal information concerning 9,000 children and their families.
Speaking to V3, Enforcement group manager at the ICO Sally-Anne Poole said: “It is essential that councils ensure the correct preventative safeguards are in place when storing and transferring personal information, especially when it concerns sensitive information relating to children. A lack of awareness and training in data protection requirements can lead to personal information falling into the wrong hands”