#Privacy: Nearly 1,300 devices lost by London councils in three-year period

According to new Freedom of Information (FOI) data, the number of devices reported stolen or lost by London councils has more than doubled over the past three financial years. 

The Parliament Street think tank obtained data from the FOI act, and collated responses from 23 out of the 31 local borough councils operating across London. 

It was revealed that from 2016, a total of 1,293 devices were either lost or stolen, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops. An increase of 109% was recorded from 204 in 2016-17 to 635 in 2018-19. 

Phones accounted for 951 lost or stolen devices over the three-year period, whilst laptop losses almost doubled, from 64 to 124. Tablet losses increased slightly from 26 to 33. 

The borough most affected by missing devices was Lambeth, recording 281 losses to which 84% were mobile phones. Richmond was the second most affected, followed by Wandsworth (123) and Brent (170). 

Richmond and Wandsworth, which reported together, saw an overwhelming increase of 666% in lost and stolen devices. 

Andy Harcup, Absolute Software, EMEA VP said: “If said device ends up in the wrong hands, these councils and the constituents they serve could be facing severe consequences, including a major data breach with citizen details finding their way onto the dark web.”

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