|Breach of act
|Breach of the seventh principle: the Council failed to take appropriate technical measures to prevent the loss of personal data from laptops, such as implementing port control and encrypting laptops.
|Known or should have known
|In spite of enforcement action taken against the Council in 2010 concerning failings related to unencrypted laptops, unencrypted laptops were still in use in 2012, in breach of the Council’s own policy. It should have been obvious the risks were increased by the physical insecurity of the offices undergoing refurbishment. The Commissioner also highlighted his own well-known guidance on the encryption of portable media, dating back to 2007.
|Likely to cause damage or distress
|As usual, the Commissioner’s argument is that data subjects are likely to have suffered from substantial distress knowing that their personal data may be disclosed to third parties who have no right to see that information. Additionally if the data is disclosed to ‘untrustworthy third parties’ there is the potential that the data subjects may be exposed to identity theft.