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Ipswich/Suffolk: Inquiry starts after memory stick lost by county

PUBLISHED: 14:57 29 November 2013 | UPDATED: 14:57 29 November 2013

Lost USB suffolk county council memory stick, found in Ipswich

Lost USB suffolk county council memory stick, found in Ipswich

An inquiry was today underway at Suffolk County Council after a member of the public found one of its memory sticks containing confidential information on a street in Ipswich.

The memory stick contained information from the county’s adult and community services department.

It had internal memos and copies of e-mails about forthcoming projects – and it also had tables containing the names of clients.

The stick was found by a member of the public, who did not want to be named. He took it home and put it into his computer – and was shocked by what he found.

“I could not believe it. This was clearly confidential information and it was just sitting there on the street. I’m surprised they don’t take more care of this kind of thing.”

We saw some of the files on the memory stick before returning it to the county council – their contents would not be considered sensational, but there was concern at the council that confidential information had been left in the street.

Anna McCreadie, Suffolk County Council’s director of adult and community services, said: “We take our responsibility to handle and protect data extremely seriously and have strict rules and procedures in place to prevent breaches from occurring.

“It is clear that on this occasion, however, those rules have not been followed and we are, of course, investigating why it happened and what information was involved.

“We are reporting this incident to the Information Commissioner and will be reinforcing the rules with our staff.”

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