Leicester City Council has misplaced a USB stick containing personal details of 4,000 vulnerable and often elderly users of its care service.
The data has disappeared from LeicesterCare, the council's vulnerable residents' support service. Along with personal information, the stick also has key codes for 2,000 people, which are used to open boxes outside users' houses which contain their front door keys...
A spokeswoman for Leicester City Council confirmed it was investigating the loss.
She said: "At this time we have no reason to believe this data has been removed deliberately. However, whilst we have been assured by our supplier that the information on the device is not accessible to anyone who may find it, we are taking every precaution to maintain the security of our LeicesterCare users. So, as a precaution, we are urgently carrying out changes to the keysafe codes of around 2,000 users. We began this programme last week and will have completed all of the code changes by Friday."
She added the council hopes to have changed about 1,000 codes by the end of the day.
A spokesman for the Information Commissioner's Office confirmed it had been told about the gaffe.
Next of kin have been informed but, we were told: "Anyone who is worried or needs more info should call 0116 252 6274, which is the main LeicesterCare number and is open 24/7." ®