The NHS has reported more than ten data security breaches to the Information Commissioner in the six months since the lost of 25m child benefit records.
The Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, has revealed that his office has been notified of almost 100 data breaches by public, private and third sector organisations since the security breach at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in November.
Of the 94 breaches reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), 66% were reported by public bodies of which a fifth were NHS organisations. Information that has gone missing includes unencrypted laptops and computer discs, memory sticks and paper records.
The ICO says information has been stolen, gone missing in the post and whilst in transit with a courier. The material contains a wide range of personal details including financial and health records.
A spokesperson for the ICO told EHI Primary Care no further details would be released about the breaches within the NHS. She added: “We don’t want to name and shame people but it is astonishing how many breaches have occurred since the HMRC incident.”
Organisations are encouraged to notify the ICO of data breaches but are not legally obliged to do so.
Richard Thomas said: “It is particularly disappointing that the HMRC breaches have not prevented other unacceptable security breaches from occurring. The government, banks and other organisations need to regain the public’s trust by being far more careful with people’s personal information.”