The Public Service Journal carries news today of Portsmouth City Council's failure to ensure adequite data security for information it holds about local residents. In this particular case, it appears that confidential information regarding the mental health of an individual that ought to have been redacted was released to another member of the public in error.
According to the Information Commissioner's office - which has this week effectively cleared Google for their harvesting of confidential data from thousands of private home-owners - the "breach of the Data Protection Act was entirely avoidable, and would not have happened if the individuals dealing with the request had been given proper training and the necessary levels of support".
Details of the case aside, ICO raises an interesting point; chiefly, that awareness among employees of both public and private sector organisations of the importance of handling personal data sensitively is woefully low. In light of this case and that of Healthcare Locums, the ICO must take a more proactive role in helping to raise awareness of the importance of professional training to avoid harmful mishaps such as this occuring.