A former Dundee City Council social care worker has admitted using a confidential database to snoop on his former partner and her family.
Liam Buchan, 25, admitted breaching GDPR rules while employed by the local authority in 2018.
He used a confidential database detailing vulnerable adults interacting with the council’s children and families service.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard he searched for his then-partner and her family, who had interacted with social workers in the past.
Buchan, of Aberdeen, works now for NHS Grampian, in a similar care role, the court was told.
He was fined £400, even though that was described as “inadequate” punishment by Sheriff Robert More.
Resigned for ‘reasons unknown’
Depute fiscal Christine Allan told the court: “The accused entered a relationship with the complainer.
“She became pregnant.
“He used software used by Dundee City Council for adult social work – each user is given a unique user name and password.
“The accused commenced employment as a social care officer and was expected to be registered with the Scottish Social Services Council.
“New employees are given six months to register.
“The accused’s role involved working nights, where he was responsible for up to nine residents in social care in Dundee.
“The accused had access (to the database) to update young persons’ care plans.
“He should only have had access for doing so.
“Issues had arisen around his Scottish Social Services Council registration… he was moved to another department as a support worker.”
The fiscal said enquiries were made with the IT department in November 2018 and it was found the accused had been accessing data pertaining to the complainer and her family.
She said: “The accused resigned from Dundee City Council, for ‘reasons unknown’.”
Accused now in another job
The court heard Buchan accessed his then-partner’s information on a number of occasions between July 2018 and September 2018, at various locations across Dundee, including the Mitchell Street Centre.
During mitigation, Sheriff More heard Buchan lives in Aberdeen and works as a social care worker for NHS Grampian.
He has an offer to study nursing at a university in Aberdeen.
A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “We note the conviction of this individual, who is no longer employed by Dundee City Council.
“The council reviews its processes around issues like data protection and registration on a regular basis.”
NHS Grampian has been approached for comment.