Providing councillors with iPads ‘would boost data security’

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Craven Council is the latest local authority to consider giving out iPads to its elected members.

The local authority is looking to draw up a business case to secure funding for the tablets – which cost around £400 each – to its 30 members.

A report to be considered by members of the council’s select committee tomorrow says: “A couple of iPads will be trialled by officers and members at policy committee on November 19.

“ICT will also attend to demonstrate use of the iPad and answer any questions.”

It adds: “Subject to a successful proof of concept, ICT will submit a business case to secure funding for roll-out to members.”

The report will update councillors on work taking place to address data protection concerns and to reduce the amount of paper being used in council meetings. It says: “If council iPads are issued to members it will dramatically reduce the council’s risk of Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fines in the event of a data breach or mishandling of a Freedom of Information request by ensuring members are using equipment which is PSN (Public Services Network) compliant.”

The report adds that the move would also cut the amount of paper in use, reducing the council’s environmental impact.

According to the report the methods councillors are using for sending, receiving and using council information are insecure for a number of reasons including the fact that information is being accessed on personal, unmanaged devices; personal email accounts on home computers.

Scarborough Council made headlines after councillors controversially backed plans to buy themselves iPads last year.