A POTENTIAL data breach at Dorset Council has been reported to the Information Commissioner.

Dorset councillors have been told that the suspected breach, first noticed in September, is not thought to be a major issue and has been flagged as ‘amber’ in the council’s traffic light risk grading. It is limited to just one council department.

Councillors have been told that at the moment there is no further information available to them but the matter is now due to be discussed with the chair of the council’s audit and governance committee.

Said Cranborne and Alderholt Cllr David Tooke: “It could be technical or trivial, or it could be very serious. We need to know which end of the stick we are holding.”

He has also called for information on why there were eleven data breaches investigated last year, but so far this year the council was looking at three.

Place and resources scrutiny committee chairman Cllr Shane Bartlett told councillors that breaches can result in censure if the council has not responded properly and taken appropriate action in the light of a breach.

“It can bring huge fines if we haven’t responded properly,” he said.

A Dorset Council spokesman said that the authority takes its responsibility for data security seriously, adding “One data breach is one data breach too many.

“When we learnt that there had been a breach we apologised  to the person concerned, informed the Information Commissioner’s Office and took steps to ensure that we learnt from the mistake...

“We consider that the Commissioner is likely to categorise the breach as low risk.”