Stevenage man arrested over theft of 14,000 people's personal data

A 35-YEAR-OLD man from Stevenage has been arrested following the theft from council offices of personal data on more than 14,000 people. Information on one of four laptops stolen from St Albans City District Council contained files with names, addresses,

A 35-YEAR-OLD man from Stevenage has been arrested following the theft from council offices of personal data on more than 14,000 people.

Information on one of four laptops stolen from St Albans City District Council contained files with names, addresses, dates of birth, signatures, postal vote forms, and statements used to confirm the identity of 14,673 voters.

The laptop was due to have encryption software installed, but only had password protection when it was stolen. The elections software had a separate username and password.

A letter has been sent to every postal voter affected.


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The council has said "there is a small risk of data being accessed and used fraudulently". It is advising people "to be watchful". On its website, it says: "If you do have concerns you may wish to contact your bank or building society and make them aware of the situation."

The council believes the theft was opportunistic because the laptops were all located in a secure area of the building, which is accessible with an electronic security swipe card. There is no evidence the building has been broken into.

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The disappearance of the laptops was confirmed on November 9, following a search of the council's offices.

The council is conducting an internal investigation, and the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner's Office have been informed of the matter.

The Stevenage man, arrested on suspicion of theft, has been bailed until March 4.

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