Wigan council loses 200 disabled people's personal details

Wigan council has lost the personal details of over 200 disabled people living in the Metro area of the city. The details were on an unencrypted memory stick, which is now missing.

This latest data loss comes just months after the council lost the personal information of more that 33,000 children. After that breach in September 2009, Council chiefs said they had signed an Undertaking, and said at the time, “The organisation will take a number of steps to improve data security.”

Local media is reporting that the memory stick was lost on the train, which has not yet confirmed by the council. No financial details and addresses were on the stick but names, dates of birth, ethnicity, type of disability, some national insurance numbers, plus employment details apparently were.

Wigan Council has released a statement in which it says it will extend its encryption programme and it has now banned the use of all memory sticks.

However Chris McIntosh, CEO of hardware encryption people Stonewood, called for more encryption (of course) and said: “Naturally, data does need to be moved, so a blanket ban on memory sticks can only be a temporary measure at best. It is good to see that Wigan Council is now extending its encryption programme, but sad that its hand was forced by these two incidents.”