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Data Loss Report shows carelessness of London Councils

Half of London Councils have admitted being more than a bit careless after a BBC radio show report uncovered what looks to be an information management shamble.

Donal McIntyre, the investigative Journalist who presented the report on BBC Radio 5 Live show on Sunday, said that "Significant personal details are being lost at local government level too"

This is yet another embarassement that comes after six months of data loss mayhem for the government and public bodies.

Amongst the 23 councils that replied to the Freedom of Information request, 13 acknowledged having lost or wrongly revealed personal data about their borough members during the last year.

Examples of how information have been lost are numerous : bags containing files being stolen from a social worker while he was meeting friends in a pub, a laptop being stolen from another youth worker, who was also in a bar, student files being ransacked by thieves and the list goes on.

In February, a laptop containing a Home Office disc was purchased off Ebay while last year in November, two CDROMs containing the details of the 25 million child benefit claimants went missing and sparked a massive police operation that has proved fruitless till now.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.