Thursday, 17 January 2013

#QuackCWaC Another Data Cock Up!

A COMPUTER expert alerted Cheshire West and Chester Council to thousands of questionable data entries on its website including the disclosure of confidential details of vulnerable children.

John Murray, of Handbridge, raised alarm bells over the Open Data section of the council website which records all spending transactions of more than £500 in line with government best practice.

A data analyst by profession, Mr Murray was  accumulating spending data for a number of authorities, including Cheshire West, when he noticed an inconsistent approach to removing the details of certain suppliers.

He said: “There were 4,206 such transactions where the same supplier ID had been redacted in other records. The majority of these are payments to organisations.

“However I also observed unredacted payee names including 188 direct payments to adult social care clients and/or their carers, 15 payments for adult day and respite care, 113 payments to foster carers, 11 payments to disabled children and their carers and 37 adoption allowance payments."

Read the full story from the source Chester Chronicle

My comment: The council should have immediately reported such a serious breach to the Information Commissioner. However it was a further 2 weeks before they removed the sensitive data from their website but still hadn't reported it to the Information Commissioner, Getting rid of the evidence first?

Read CWaC spokesperson's comments on the data breach at the end of the Chronicle article for an example of how they spin reality.

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