European Data Protection Digest

NHS Trust Commits to Better Data Protection

DATA BREACH—UK

January 29, 2010

The chief executive of Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust has made a formal commitment to improve data security following the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) ruling that its October data breach violated the Data Protection Act. The breach occurred when a laptop containing 33,000 password-protected patient records was stolen from an unlocked and unattended retinal screening van. The commitment requires the trust to improve data encryption, physical security measures and staff training, among other areas. Sally-Anne Poole, head of investigations at the ICO, says "It is vital that NHS organizations ensure their staff handles personal information securely, especially where so much sensitive personal information is concerned."
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