If you are looking for culprits of data breaches in the information industry it is generally the wrong place to look. Try the police: More than 300 police staff and officers – including high-ranking officials – have either resigned or been sacked since 2009 for illegally accessing personal data on the police database, according to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office figures.
The statistics, obtained by the Press Association under a Freedom of Information Act request, paint a picture of widespread abuse of data laws by forces across England and Wales. Some involved police leaking information on social networking sites and spreading rumours in local communities, while others used the police database to snoop on the personal details of family members, friends and associates.
Police forces recorded a total of 2,031 cases of data protection breaches between January 2009 and October 2013. Investigations led to 186 resignations, while 113 were sacked as a result of their behaviour.