Confident in your web presence? Perhaps we could have saved £175,000
10 Aug 2012
News that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has fined a Torquay health trust £175,000 after it inadvertently published equal opportunity data about its staff on its website has once again spotlighted potential problems for organisations not fully in control of their web presence.
Ironically, had the care trust used an external web governance service such as the one provided by Sitemorse, it could have safely monitored its online data for decades for far less than the cost of the fine - not to mention expensive legal fees and the unknown cost in terms of the damage done to its reputation.
Torbay Care Trust published the highly personal information online in April 2011, after a spreadsheet containing the data was accidentally put on its website. It was only spotted when reported by a member of the public 19 weeks later. The error enabled visitors to see the names, addresses, National Insurance numbers and sexuality of nearly 1,400 staff.
"Not only were they giving sensitive information out about their employees but they were also leaving them exposed to the threat of identity fraud," Stephen Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO, was quoted.
Sitemorse clients have the facility to monitor their websites and can be alerted for page content that has changed. As well as protecting against hacking and 'phishing' links, alerts can be set up for prohibited data - in this case material that should never have been published externally.
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