East of England councils are struggling to keep sensitive data to themselves

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have revealed that local authorities in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire have collectively suffered over 160 data breaches in the last year.

The majority of these data breaches involve human error, with instances such as emails and letters being incorrectly addressed, mobiles being lost and files going ‘missing’ being the common causes.

Anne Gibson, executive director of resources at Norfolk County Council, said: “We have about 6,000 people working at the council, and on any one day they handle literally thousands of pieces of personal information.

“Thankfully, data protection breaches are not common but we take the security of information very seriously, and we are sorry for any instances where the council has not looked after information properly.

“We are driving forward higher standards for data security, and staff are in no doubt about the need to care for personal information carefully at all times.”