Voters' personal data stolen from St Albans council offices

PUBLISHED: 12:32 16 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 May 2010

LAPTOPS holding personal data about St Albans District postal voters have gone missing. It is believed that four laptops, one of which held personal information on people who registered to use postal votes this year, were taken from the council offices on

LAPTOPS holding personal data about St Albans District postal voters have gone missing.

It is believed that four laptops, one of which held personal information on people who registered to use postal votes this year, were taken from the council offices on St Peter's Street last Monday.

The data on the stolen laptop consists of names, addresses, dates of birth, signatures and copies of scanned postal vote application forms and postal vote statements which are used to confirm the identity of postal voters.

In a letter to all those district residents who are affected, Chief Executive for the council Daniel Goodwin admitted that there was "a small risk" of the data - which was not encrypted - being accessed and used fraudulently.

Sam Evans of St Albans received the letter this morning (16) and said that she was "disgusted" by the council's mistake: "I'm appalled by what's happened and I just can't believe that the council didn't even bother to encrypt such vital information. It's a disgrace and now I have to worry about who might have access to my personal data."

Another St Albans resident, who wished to remain anonymous, added: "Someone somewhere has their hands on a hell of a lot of information. It could be a matter of time before someone steals my identity."

Mr Goodwin said this morning: "I would like to apologise to residents and reassure them that the council takes its responsibility to look after their personal data very seriously."

He added: "I have asked the Council's Head of Internal Audit to conduct an internal investigation with immediate effect. This will reveal whether there is a need for further security measures to be put in place and if so, we will of course take immediate steps to implement these."

Any residents who registered for postal votes for the last elections in June 2009 and who are concerned about this matter may contact the Council on 01727 819291 or 819294 for further advice.

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