Telford & Wrekin Council responds over data figure

Telford & Wrekin Council
Image caption The council said it believes "it is better to be open and transparent about these issues"

A council with one of the worst records in the UK for data being lost or stolen has said it "takes information security very seriously".

There were 30 incidents relating to Telford & Wrekin in three years up to August 2011, the 9th highest UK figure, campaign group Big Brother Watch said.

The council said it encouraged staff to report data breaches so it could "learn from and not repeat" mistakes.

More than 1,000 cases of data theft and loss were reported across UK councils.

A total of 132 authorities responded to freedom of information requests by Big Brother Watch.

'Not repeat'

Director Nick Pickles said the research - based on answers to freedom of information requests - showed a "shockingly lax attitude" to protection of confidential information by some councils.

Telford & Wrekin Council said it encouraged staff to report data breaches "so that they can be properly assessed, thoroughly investigated where appropriate".

A spokesman added: "While we can only speculate, we know that 39 authorities did not respond to the [survey] at all and 263 reported no data losses.

"In contrast, while one breach is one too many, this council is proactive, has tried and tested reporting systems and is aware at the highest level of even the smallest breach or potential breach."

The Information Commissioner said it was vital councils kept data secure. The Local Government Association for England and Wales declined to comment.

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