|Breach of act
||Breach of the Seventh Data Protection Principle: The Ministry failed to take appropriate technical measures against unauthorised processing and accidental loss of confidential and sensitive personal data, such as taking steps to ensure that the portable hard drives that were used to back up the prisoner intelligence database in 75 prisons had actually been encrypted.
|Known or should have known
||The Ministry was aware that prisons across the entire estate were backing up this information on a weekly basis pending the implementation of a new intelligence system. As a result of a virtually identical security breach in October 2011, the data controller was also aware that the portable hard drives used to back up this intelligence information in 75 prisons were unencrypted. As it was routine to handle sensitive personal data relating to prisoners it should have been obvious that such a contravention would be of a kind likely to cause substantial damage and/or substantial distress to the data subjects
|Likely to cause damage or distress
||This scale of the breach posed a significant risk of causing serious detriment to thousands of prisoners in England and Wales. The data subjects would be likely to suffer from substantial distress knowing that their confidential and sensitive personal data may be accessed by unauthorised third parties, aggravated by the fact that the hard drive has still not been recovered. If the data has in fact been accessed by untrustworthy third parties then it is likely that the contravention would cause further distress and substantial damage.