A computer previously owned by Southend Borough Council containing case notes on vulnerable children has been purchased on eBay for £1.70.
The case notes in around 1,000 files covered children across Essex and detailed fostering and adoption histories. Some files also contained details of sexual abuse.
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The computer was purchased by an eBay buyer in Surrey, reports the BBC.
The council told the BBC that it has set up an inquiry into the data breach, which came after the computer was offloaded by the council as part of a recycling scheme.
The council told the BBC it was now reviewing its recycling contract with a company in Essex.
The computer is now in the hands of the police, after being handed over by the eBay buyer, and the council has set up a helpline for those potentially affected by the data breach.
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