The service has been found in breach of the Data Protection Act after the papers had been lost by the editor of a series of law reports; it had failed to check how this individual intended to keep the information secure.
Executive of the Scottish Court Service Eleanor Emberson has been forced to sign a formal undertaking to ensure that all staff are aware of the service’s policy for the storage, use and disclosure or sharing of personal data. The service has now tightened its procedures around the handling of sensitive information by its staff and other people involved in the court process.
The editor of the law reports has also agreed to improve the way in which court documents that include sensitive personal details are handled.
Ken Macdonald, Assistant Commissioner for Scotland at the ICO, said: “People involved in court cases should be able to feel confident that their personal and sensitive information is going to be kept secure and not taken outside of the court room. Had any of the papers in this case fallen into the wrong hands, the privacy of the individuals concerned might have been threatened.
“I’m pleased that the Scottish Court Service has agreed to take a more hands-on approach to deal with data sharing in such cases and that staff will be trained appropriately to avoid this from happening in the future.”
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