Data breach: airport fined for lost USB memory stick
An airport was fined £120,000 after an employee lost a USB memory stick containing sensitive personal information. A member of the public found the memory stick on the street and viewed the files on a library computer. The contents on the USB included the times guards were scheduled to patrol for terrorist attacks and routes and security details for high-officials using the airport, one of them being the Queen.
The person who found the USB gave it to a national newspaper, which copied the contents of the stick before it was returned to the airport.
According to Steve Eckersley, ICO director of investigations: ‘Data protection should have been high on airport’s agenda. But our investigation found a catalogue of shortcomings in corporate standards, training and vision that indicated otherwise.’
Council fined £25k for sex discrimination
A former council worker was paid £25k in a sex discrimination case. During her five year employment at the council, she said she was denied overtime and training that was only offered to her male colleagues. She claimed she was ordered to clean the kitchen and the toilets, because the toilets ‘needed a woman’s touch’. She complained internally according to the council’s grievance policies and procedures, but the council responded with abusive and rude language. According to her, she always felt as if she had to prove herself more than her male colleagues. This had a huge affect on her self-worth and made her feel inferior to other men at work.
Michael Wardlow, chief commissioner of the Equality Commission, said that asking to clean the toilets because they needed a ‘woman’s touch’ was a ‘direct and inappropriate reference to her gender. Employers must make sure, not only that they have such policies in place, but that all their staff are fully aware of the importance the employer places on implementing them’.
Spokesperson of the council said: ‘the council is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all employees and further embedding these principles within the organisation, through an ongoing programme of training and development’.
Two dead at the poultry factory after suspected gas leak
Police were called to a poultry factory after two subcontractors were found dead from a suspected gas leak. Two ambulances, a rapid response vehicle and three hazardous area teams were rushed to the factory, but they were unable to save the two workers. The initial assessment of the accident indicated that the gas leak was caused by a refrigerator close to where the subcontractors were working. The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the deaths to find the exact reason, and determined the gas leak would not cause a greater threat to the public.
Banham Poultry said: ‘We are deeply saddened and send our deepest condolences to their family and friends. We are working closely with the police and health and safety authorities to determine what happened, and are also conducting our own internal investigation.’
The factory is now for sale which could cause hundreds of jobs to be lost.