Home > Electronic Records, Internet, Local Council, Records Storage > Hillingdon council warned about online data storage

Hillingdon council warned about online data storage

AN IT expert has warned Hillingdon Council against storing residents data online.

Data could be stored online by the local authority as part of plans to join the latest technological revolution.

Cloud storage has become the latest trend, and allows people or companies to store data on the internet.

Hillingdon Council is investigating taking up the solution, but have been warned off by an Uxbridge based IT expert, who feels the technology is under-researched and still prone to hackers.

Paul Grimshaw, who runs Totally Techy, in Uxbridge High Street, said: “For me personally, knowing Hillingdon, I wouldn’t be happy with them doing this.

“I wouldn’t recommend it, it is new technology, and needs a few more years.

“Recently Amazon had their cloud storage hacked into, and customer details were exposed, and already people are starting to shrink away from it.

“The only thing I would really trust it for is inconsequential data, nothing containing personal details. As well as hackers, it can break down on the basic errors made by individuals in charge.”

Hillingdon Council did not tell the Gazette which type of data they are considering storing online, and said they are still researching the topic.

In an interview with an IT website, the council said they would draw the line at putting secretive information such as child adoption records online, which would indicate that less secretive but still important data on council taxpayers could be uploaded.

Mr Grimshaw added: “Hillingdon First cards contain personal data, showing which car park locations people have visited, will this all be stored online too?”

He adds the council will have to reveal if storage servers will be located in the UK, and recommend the council use at least two sets of passwords type devices for additional layers of security.

Recent victims to internet hackers include Sony, and even the US Government CIA website.

Hillingdon would become one of the first local authorities in the country to use cloud storage. It would reduce the need for physical storage space, and companies now use it as an alternative to data sticks, which have notoriously been left on trains accidentally.

Steve Palmer, head of ICT and business services, said: “By using cloud storage we could improve access to data, including sharing information with our residents and partners.

“We are currently looking at the security surrounding doing this and are working with CESG to agree what the suitable standards would be for using our own private cloud mechanism.

“Once this has been finalised we will decide what data storage could be appropriate but the privacy and security of residents’ data will always be our prime objective.”

Source: Uxbridge Gazette

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