£60,000 fine for sending filing cabinet (and contents!) to second hand shop

In April 2014, social work case files were discovered in a cabinet purchased by a member of the public from a second hand shop. The cabinet had been used by the children’s social work team at Norfolk County Council and the case files included information relating to seven children.

The Information Commissioner’s Office found that the Council did not have in place appropriate organisational measures for ensuring that such an incident would not occur and in particular did not have an adequate written procedure governing how office furniture disposal should be managed.

The Council was issued with a monetary penalty under the Data Protection Act for a serious contravention of the seventh data protection principle, and was fined £60,000.

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