Folkestone & Hythe District Council: a breach of trust

We are handing over more of our personal data than ever before to Folkestone & Hythe District Council in exchange for more efficient and better targeted services. As part of this deal we expect that the information will be kept secure and those who have access to the information are properly trained.

However, between 15/12/2016 – 10/01/19 our Council have been involved in 11 personal data breaches as the chart below shows. One of these data breaches included 82 individuals, 55 of the 82 names related to temporary staff, who were supplied by eight agencies. They all had their names and hourly or day rates of pay revealed unnecessarily.

A personal data breach is a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data.

We reported a month ago that in 2017/18 the Council had set aside £325,000 for a potential data breach according to Report AuG/18/23.

Prior to DEC 2016 the Council informed Big Brother Watch (page 187)  via an FoI response that between 2011 and 2014 they had no personal data breaches which we personally find hard to believe.

We can exclusively reveal that the Council are according to information supplied to our public face by Liz Fitzsimons a partner in Eversheds Sutherland, who specialises in privacy and information law committing a further data breach and have been for at least a year or more. We cannot share this data breach with you for obvious reasons, but we have informed the Information Commissioner’s Office who will no doubt be in contact with our Council.

It is becoming a recurring occurrence at our Council that residents data is breached and shared inappropriately. These continuing breaches demonstrate that our Council ought not to be handling either personal or sensitive data we share with them, as they appear to give it away all to readily.

The Shepwayvox Team

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