A BUCKS council, which a report ranks as Britain's joint worst offender for losing sensitive or personal data, says it is a victim of its own “scrupulous recording” of incidents.

Privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch found 72 cases of lost or stolen data were reported by Bucks County Council (BCC) in the last three years.

These included an adoption worker leaving a sensitive file in an airport, an individual’s signature and bank details being posted on the council's planning site, and theft of data by a dismissed employee.

Despite recording the highest number of incidents along with Kent County Council, BCC said concerns should instead be directed at the 263 councils that did not reported any data losses.

This list includes Wycombe and Chiltern district councils. South Bucks District Council did not respond to the Freedom of Information request, according to Big Brother Watch.

Peter Cartwright, cabinet member for finance and resources at BCC, said: “These figures relate to breaches of data, rather than loss of data and are, in fact, indicative of the scrupulous recording mechanisms we have in place.

“Of the 72 data breaches cited, 68 were minor breaches, which a great many authorities would not record at all.

“Indeed, we share Big Brother Watch's concern that many local authorities reported no incidents, suggesting very varied reporting thresholds, and we should be praised for being fastidious.”

In February an audit by the Information Commissioner Office found BCC’s data procedures provided “reasonable assurance”, though some areas for improvement were highlighted.

Nick Pickles, of Big Brother Watch, said the report shows a “shockingly lax attitude” by some councils to protecting confidential information.

See link below for the full report.