‘No major data breaches’ at South Tyneside Council

No serious data breaches at South Shields Town Hall.
No serious data breaches at South Shields Town Hall.

No South Tyneside Council employee has committed a serious data breach over a three-year period, according to new figures.

The authority didn’t provide statistics to privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch as it did not have any “major breaches” in the period 2011 to 2014.

Coun Jeff Milburn

Coun Jeff Milburn

The report shows the scale of data breaches by local councils, including personal information being lost, stolen or used inappropriately.

It reveals 4,326 data breaches, including at least 401 instances of data loss or theft and 628 instances of incorrect or inappropriate data being shared on emails, letters and faxes.

 But, while South Tyneside Council accepts there “may have been a small number of minor breaches” no one was convicted, had their employment terminated, resigned or was disciplined as a result.

 In contrast the worst performing council, Brighton and Hove, recorded 190 breaches.

Even minor breaches should be put in public domain

Coun Jeff Milburn

 Locally, Sunderland Council dealt with 14 breaches over the period.

 A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “We can confirm that there were no significant breaches of information by council staff.

“We take the safeguarding of the information entrusted to us very seriously and have a robust set of policies, procedures and controls in place to maximise Information Security and Data protection.

“Where there has been a minor breach, due to non-intentional human error, and disciplinary action may not be appropriate, steps have been taken to tighten procedures and further training given.”

We take the safeguarding of the information entrusted to us very seriously and have a robust set of policies, procedures and controls in place to maximise information security and data protection.

 “Where there has been a minor breach, due to non-intentional human error, and disciplinary action may not be appropriate, steps have been taken to tighten procedures and further training given.”

 “The leader of the opposition on South Tyneside Council, Conservative Jeff Milburn, said: “I think the council needed to put the number of even minor breaches into the public domain.

 “That would have been being fully compliant.”