Data on 33,000 children lost on unencrypted Council laptop

A laptop containing unencrypted data on 33,000 children was stolen from Wigan Borough Council.

Despite the incident taking place on the 27 January, the authority only disclosed the incident, more than two months on. In the same incident other laptops were also taken but the information they contained is unkown.

A Wigan Borough Council spokesperson siad the data was not encrypted and could be accessed using a password. The council is now investigating the theft. The authority has reported the theft to the police and the Information Commissioner. It is now writing to parents and carers of the children affected.

The information on the laptop included names, dates of birth, special needs, school exam results and postcodes of children aged between seven and 16.

Nick Hudson, director of Wigan council's children and young people's services said: "We have taken the step of informing the public of the borough about the theft because we believe people deserve to know what has happened."

"Apart from the names, the data on the children is in the form of numbers and codes and there are no comments or individual case notes," he added.

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