Thirteen London councils have admitted to losing or wrongly revealing personal data, an investigation conducted by the BBC has revealed.

Amongst the 23 boroughs that replied to the Freedom of Information request, 13 admitted personal data about their members had been lost, stolen or inadvertently disclosed during the last year.

The investigation, carried out for BBC Radio 5 Donal MacIntyre programme, revealed that both paper-based files and laptops containing sensitive data were at risk of being stolen.

In one example, information on children in care was lost when a social worker took files for a court case into a bar, only to have the bag containing the documents stolen. In another case, a laptop containing the names and addresses of 12 young people in care was stolen from a youth worker while he was in a bar after work.

This latest shame comes after six months of data loss bedlam for the government. In February, a laptop containing a Home Office disc was purchased off Ebay while last year in November, two CDs containing the details of 25 million child benefit claimants went missing.

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