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County council sent my personal details to someone else
A WORCESTER man has hit out at the county council after private information about his family was sent to a third party.
Matthew Bennett, of Patterdale Drive, Warndon, said he thinks the matter has been whitewashed despite receiving an apology from Worcestershire County Council after the personal information and some of his family’s contact details were sent to a third person. Mr Bennett and his wife sent the private details to the council in April last year as they applied to become foster parents.
In July they received a call from the council to say their details, including information about their son, who has Asperger’s syndrome, had been sent mistakenly to another person also hoping to foster.
Since then Mr Bennett has pursued the council to ensure the same mistakes will not be repeated.
He said: “The mix of issues raised led only to the apology in writing and a note to say the person in question had been spoken with.
“I believe a data protection breach is a very serious matter and this did not go far enough to redress my own personal loss and angst.
“I would have wanted compensation but more importantly an explanation as to what measures the council would put in place to remedy the situation so it would not happen again.”
After speaking with the council Mr Bennett decided to contact the Information Commissioners Office, which confirmed the council had reported the incident, which had breached the Data Protection Act. He also listed a number of other complaints to the council, including the level of training on his fostering courses, which he felt was not of a high enough standard. Mr Bennett said: “I am pretty cross. My concern is the fostering team are not effective in what they do. It really annoys me something like this can happen and I am annoyed the council has tried to bury it.”
A council spokesman said it accepted the incorrect use of the data. “We acknowledge this incident is unacceptable and we have apologised for it,” the spokeman said. “All possible steps have been undertaken to mitigate any further damage and an internal investigation has been conducted following county council procedures and with input from HR.
“It is regrettable this has happened. However, learning from this incident has been fed back to other staff to help prevent similar errors from occurring in the future.”