Leicester council loses USB stick

Darren Allan

March 23, 2011

Another city council has managed to mislay a USB stick, this time in Leicester.

According to a report in local paper This Is Leicestershire, the memory stick in question is used to back-up data from council computers, and isn’t supposed to leave the premises. They claim that the device has most likely been lost within the building (maybe they should try down the back of the sofa in the first-floor meeting room).

The stick contains medical details and home security codes for some 4,000 elderly and vulnerable people in the area.

Staff have been ordered to search their desks for the missing USB stick, and also to check to make sure they haven’t accidentally taken it home.

Because the data on the portable drive relates to entry codes to houses, these codes are being changed.

A council spokesperson told the newspaper: “While we have been assured by our supplier the information on the device is not accessible to anyone who may find it, we are taking every precaution to maintain the security of our LeicesterCare users.”

“So, as a precaution, we are urgently carrying out changes to the keysafe codes of around 2,000 users. We are also contacting all of the main next of kin contacts for these users to advise them of the changes.”

The Information Commissioner’s Office has been informed of the loss, and has started its own investigation into the matter. The ICO can fine up to £500,000 for data breaches which it considers to be serious, and those in which the liable party hasn’t taken enough due care or attention in their security process.


Comments in chronological order (3 comments)

  1. Shadow says:

    Major flop their Leic Council - good job

  2. Mr Muppet says:

    what a total bunch of Muppets, and as for the ICO, talk about jobs for the boys huh, the ICO has a bark about as loud as a mouse, pathetic waste of taxpayers money I say, it takes <2 minutes to secure a usb drive, sack em

  3. Max says:

    “While we have been assured by our supplier the information on the device is not accessible to anyone who may find it.

    I wonder how true this is? Unless stipulated when ordering them its it doubtful they have any encryption installed on them. Agencies and governments should use products such as safe stick, or use a USB application such as USB safe guard which encrypts the data and also self destroys the data if an incorrect password is entered to many times.

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