North Somerset and Worcestershire councils fined for data breaches

Two councils have been fined after staff sent "highly sensitive" personal information to the wrong recipients.

A worker at Worcestershire County Council wrongly e-mailed information about a large number of vulnerable people to 23 unintended recipients.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said it has been fined £80,000,

North Somerset Council was fined £60,000 after five e-mails, two with details of a child's serious case review, went to the wrong NHS employee.

The incidents, which took place in November and December last year, occurred when a North Somerset council employee selected the wrong e-mail address when creating a personal distribution list, the ICO said.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, said: "Personal information in cases involving vulnerable people is about the most sensitive personal information imaginable.

"It is of great concern that this sort of information was simply sent to the wrong recipients by staff at two separate councils.

"It was fortunate that in both cases at least the e-mail recipients worked in a similar sector and so were used to handling sensitive information.

"This mitigating factor has been taken into account in assessing the amount of the penalties."

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