Berkshire

Wokingham council breaches data for fifth time in year

Wokingham Borough Council offices Image copyright Google
Image caption Wokingham Borough Council said it would investigate the breach

An elderly woman has had details of her benefit payments leaked to a resident, in a council's fifth data breach in a year.

Wokingham Borough Council sent 12 pages containing information about the past three years of the woman's payments.

Last month the council apologised after a sex abuse victim had her data shared with her attacker.

Councillor Chris Smith said it was "due to the manual process of envelope stuffing."

Details of the breach were revealed by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

'It happens'

At a meeting of the council's audit committee, resident Chris Wallace said reports of such breaches go "into a black hole".

She said that some wrong recipients of data were told by the council's customer service team that "it happens".

Conservative councillor for Wokingham's Hillside Chris Smith said personal data "should not be going public".

"Changes can be made," he said. "I'm expecting a report to come through to tell me what will change and what will happen to ensure that this will not happen again.

"We will look at the root cause. We do want to get to the bottom of this to stop it happening."

It comes after the council said it was "unreservedly sorry" after it twice forwarded details of a child sexual abuse victim to her attacker.

A Local Ombudsman report at the end of January found the authority had breached confidentiality, despite a lifetime ban on contact between the victim and her attacker.

The council said at the time it accepted the findings and would implement measures to safeguard sensitive information.

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