Council apologises after licensing data is lost

A council has suspended its work with a contractor responsible for the potential loss of data relating to nearly 3,000 people.Suffolk Coastal District Council announced today that a laptop computer was stolen from the home of somebody working for local authority licensing company Lalpac last week.

A council has suspended its work with a contractor responsible for the potential loss of data relating to nearly 3,000 people.

Suffolk Coastal District Council announced today that a laptop computer was stolen from the home of somebody working for local authority licensing company Lalpac last week.

Although the computer was password protected, the information - which related to the council's licensing team - was not encrypted and so could potentially be accessed by an unauthorised person.

A council spokesman said that the data relates to applications submitted by companies and members of the public for licences covering areas such as pubs, taxi and private hire vehicles, places of entertainment or for festivals and fetes.


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The lost data does not include any financial information and most of the details are publicly available on the council's website, but the lost records include names and addresses of applicants.

Ray Herring, leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: 'The company was employed by us to transfer this data onto a new software programme that we are using but this information is now potentially lost.

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'The company has failed to prevent this data being taken home in an unprotected way and the theft of the laptop means that this information has been lost.

'We have instructed the company to stop the work they were doing for us and we are investigating what further action we could take against them for this lapse of security.

'We had followed all the rules but we have to face the criticism caused by someone else's actions. I can only offer sincere apologies to those affected and reassure everyone that we will redouble our efforts to ensure that data in future is dealt with in as secure a fashion as possible.'

A letter has been sent to all the people affected explaining what has happened and their details have been passed on to CIFAS, the UK's fraud prevention service. The Information Commissioner has also been advised of the data loss.

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