The Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has spoken in the wake of his office’s annual report about the necessity for protecting personal information, highlighting the role that Paper shredders can play in the office.
Mr Thomas described certain lapses of security in the UK as "horrifying", adding that "over the past year, we have seen far too many careless and inexcusable breaches of peoples personal information".
Banks and local councils have been found guilty of not sufficiently catering for security provisions regarding sensitive information about individuals and NatWest, Barclays and Liverpool City Council were all rapped by Mr Thomas’ office last year.
In terms of the two banks mentioned, customer data, which was particularly sensitive was found deposited in rubbish bins outside the establishments rather than being effectively disposed of by Paper shredders.
These security lapses caused by not employing Paper shredders have resulted in the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) setting up an IT forensics department which aims to monitor organisations for the privacy they offer customers.
Recently, a contract worth £7 million was signed by the ICO with Alfred McAlpine, covering six ICO offices, which envelops a host of office services such as service desk support, server management and disaster recovery.
According to George Gardiner of law firm Gardiner & Co, the ICO is currently under-funded. He told the Register: "The ICO says that in 2006 to 2007 it fielded 24,000 complaints and enquiries, yet it has only managed 16 prosecutions in the past 12 months."