The U.K. government has suffered 30 breaches of security since November 2007, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has reported.
The breaches, which were highlighted by justice minister Michael Wills, began with the loss of details of 25 million child benefit claimants in November last year. He also identified that local government had reported 17 security breaches to the ICO while, other public-sector organisations had reported 50 and the private sector had reported 41.
The ICO identified that the breaches all concerned unencrypted laptops, computer discs, memory sticks and paper records that had been stolen or gone missing in the post or during transit with a courier. Many included personal details such as financial and health records.
According to Information Commissioner Richard Thomas "more must be done to eradicate inexcusable security breaches."
"The government, banks and other organisations need to regain the public's trust by being far more careful with people's personal information. Once again, I urge business and public-sector leaders to make data protection a priority in their organization," added Thomas.