Freedom of Information requests reveal that 132 local authorities have lost personal data in 1,035 separate instances over the past three years, including a memory stick containing the addresses of 64,000 people in Birmingham.
At least 35 councils admitted they lost private information about children. Despite the huge number of incidents, only nine resulted in a termination of employment.
Big Brother Watch, which filed the requests and publishes the report today, said the losses highlighted "a shockingly lax attitude to protecting confidential information".
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