UK Government fined £500,000 for New Year honours data breach

The government has been fined £500,000 for mistakenly sharing the postal addresses of more than 1,000 New Year Honours recipients online.

Singer Sir Elton John, sports presenter Gabby Logan and TV cook Nadiya Hussain were among those affected.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that the Cabinet Office had failed to put adequate measures in place to avoid such data breaches.

The error, which occurred in 2019, resulted from “complacency”, it added.

The government apologised for the data breach and said it had put measures in place to avoid a repeat of it.

Government apologises for honours list data breach
On 27 December 2019 the Cabinet Office, the government department which handles honours. published a file on the website showing the unredacted addresses of 1,097 people receiving New Year honours for 2020.

After officials became aware of the data breach, the weblink to the file was removed, but it was still cached and available online to people typing in the exact web address.

The data was online for two hours and 21 minutes and was accessed 3,872 times.

Cricketer Ben Stokes, chef Ainsley Harriott and former Ofcom boss Sharon White were also among those affected.

The ICO received three complaints from people whose details were shared.

Source: BBC News

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