Data watchdog asked to investigate Haringey Council file scandal

A request for a formal investigation by the Information Commissioner has been made today by Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone following the serious breach in Haringey Council’s archiving of confidential and sensitive files.

The Data Protection Act requires that all personal information must be kept securely. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has legal powers to ensure organisations comply with this Act and where serious breaches have been found, to serve enforcement orders.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone says:

“Haringey Council holds extremely sensitive information, from child protection records to everyone’s council tax details.All Haringey residents need cast-iron assurances that their private data is safe.

“Dumped files found in a squat is hardly evidence that Haringey has a fail-safe system in place to ensure it is honouring its legal duty to keep information secure.

“The scale and seriousness of this breach of people’s personal confidentiality means we need an independent expert to investigate Haringey Council’s failure to secure private files, as well as an internal review. The Information Commissioner is the only independent authority that has the powers needed to ensure Haringey mends its ways.”