The NHS Trust has reported that a memory stick containing the medical information of more than 6,000 prisoners has been lost.
A health worker lost the USB stick that contained details of prisoners and ex-prisoners from HMP Preston, including surnames, their broad age range, prison number, cell location, prison clinic appointment times, and review dates. It also included details of some prisoners' ailments, such as diabetes, asthma, mental health and sexual health, but not full medical history.
The data on the stick was encrypted but the password had been written on a note that was attached to it when it was misplaced. Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust said that it was being used to back up clinical databases at the prison when it was lost on 30 December.
The trust said the member of staff concerned has been suspended and a full investigation is to be carried out.
Nick Lowe, head of Northern Europe for Check Point commented: “It's unfortunate that the right security measures were taken to encrypt sensitive data that's being transported, but were compromised by a simple human error.
“In the same way that you don't keep your PIN number in the same place as your credit card, passwords have got to be kept separate from the protected device in order to maintain security.”