Information Commissioner slams NHS Trust for lost USB stick

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has found East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust in breach of the Data Protection Act after an unencrypted USB stick containing patient data was lost on a train.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has found East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust in breach of the Data Protection Act after an unencrypted USB stick containing patient data was lost on a train.

A junior doctor had used the USB to record brief details of patients’ conditions and medication, and was supposed to hand it to the next doctor on shift.

However, the doctor accidentally took the USB key home, intending to forward the data on electronically, but lost the device, and a wallet, on a train.

The USB stick has not been recovered, despite the doctor informing the Trust immediately after discovering the loss.

A full investigation was launched, and enquiries by the ICO revealed that the junior doctor had not been aware of the Trust’s data protection policies. He also did not have access to email to receive policy reminders and updates.

The ICO also found that the Trust’s existing policies on the use of personal USB keys were not clear, and no technical measures were in place to prevent misuse of portable devices.

Nick Carver, chief executive of East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, has signed an undertaking to ensure that the Trust’s policies on portable devices are clear and communicated to all staff. Training will also be provided to all staff who have access to personal information.

Mick Gorrill, head of enforcement at the ICO, said: “Storing sensitive personal data on unencrypted data sticks is a risk trusts should not be willing to take. If it is vital to store information for handover, this must be done with the highest security measures in place.

“Furthermore, it is vital that employees are fully aware of processes which could have prevented this incident from occurring.”

Yorkshire Building Society was recently found in breach of the Data Protection Act after an unencrypted laptop was stolen from its premises.

The ICO has previously revealed that the NHS is the worst culprit for data breaches.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Anh Nguyen

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?