Sensitive details of NHS staff published by Trust in Devon

August 8, 2012 |

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has been penalised a health trust in Devon for releasing details of 1,000 employees on its web site. The announcement is found here.

The release provides:

A health trust in Torquay has been served with a £175,000 penalty after the sensitive details of over 1,000 employees were accidentally published on the Trust’s website, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced today.

Staff at Torbay Care Trust published the information in a spreadsheet on their website in April 2011 and only spotted the mistake when it was reported by a member of the public 19 weeks later. The data covered the equality and diversity responses of 1,373 staff and included individuals’ names, dates of birth and National Insurance numbers, along with sensitive information about the person’s religion and sexuality.

The ICO’s investigation found that the Trust had no guidance for staff on what information shouldn’t be published online and had inadequate checks in place to identify potential problems.

Stephen Eckersley, Head of Enforcement, said:

“We regular speak with organisations across the health service to remind them of the need to look after people’s data. The fact that this breach was caused by Torbay Care Trust publishing sensitive information about their staff is extremely troubling and was entirely avoidable. Not only were they giving sensitive information out about their employees but they were also leaving them exposed to the threat of identity fraud.

“While organisations can publish equality and diversity information about staff in an aggregated form, there is no justification for unnecessarily releasing their personal information. We are pleased that the Trust are now taking action to keep their employees’ details secure.”

The Trust has now introduced a new web management policy to make sure personal data is not mistakenly published on their website in the future.




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