Investigation as Walsall Council admits data breach blunder

Walsall Council sent out annual charging statements believed to contain personal information about other residents, it has emerged. 

Investigation as Walsall Council admits data breach blunder

The statements were delivered to people in the borough who use social care services.

An investigation has now been launched after the council confirmed that some of the annual statements were sent to the wrong people.

They contained personal information about other users, such as the kind of care they were receiving and how much was being paid for it.

The council says it is now 'investigating the source' of the error.

Carol Williams, Walsall Council's senior information risk owner, said: "I can confirm that some individuals have received a communication from the council that was not meant for them.

"The individuals concerned have already been contacted and steps have been taken for them to receive the correct information.

"The council takes all data protection issues seriously and is investigating the source of this error to reduce future risk."

Councillor Liz Hazell, the leader of Walsall's UKIP group, described the error as 'terrible', adding that she hoped it had been rectified 'immediately'.

She said: "From my point of view I have always understood that security and people's details have been really important to the council, so I am really saddened to hear this has happened.

"I can only hope it was a one-off error and it has been rectified immediately.

"It is a terrible thing and I would not like anybody to go through that."

Councillor Mike Bird, the leader of Walsall's Conservative group and the former leader of the council, added: "I do not know the background to it.

"I will have to ask the officers how this has come about.

"We take our responsibilities to protect data very seriously.

"This could even be something for scrutiny to look at to see if and where the system has failed.

"This data in the wrong hands is not very nice."

According to Walsall Council's website, the authority defines social care in the borough as about 'safeguarding vulnerable adults and older people'.

Its services include reablement and out-of-hours emergency on-call service.

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