RUC/PSNI officers and celebs feared among 1,000 addresses released on the internet
THE Cabinet Office apologised on December 28th after the home office released the name’s of New Year Honours recipients, including RUC/PSNI officers, politicians, military figures and celebrities, was posted online.
The addresses of most of the 1,097 recipients could be viewed for about an hour from around 11pm on Friday 27th of December. A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “A version of the New Year Honours 2020 list was published in error which contained recipients’ addresses. “The information was removed as soon as possible. “We apologise to all those affected and are looking into how this happened. “We have reported the matter to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) and are contacting all those affected directly.” The list saw awards given to England’s Cricket World cup winners, top entertainers including Sir Elton John, and prominent figures from politics and the legal profession.
Among them were the former director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders and ex-Conservative Party Leader Ian Duncan Smith, pictured in the feature image, the architect of the Universal Credit system, whose knighthood sparked a backlash from critics. The list also included senior diplomats and figures from the military. It included more than 100 people from the North of Ireland. It included three senior RUC/PSNI officers who received the Queen’s Police Medal. Only six people honoured for services to defence were left off the list, according to the BBC. The ICO, which has the power to fine organisations for data breaches, said it was investigating. A spokesman said: “In response to reports of a data breach involving the Cabinet Office and the New Year’s Honours list, the ICO will be making enquiries.”
Hackney councillor and charity pioneer Mete Coban, who was handed an MBE for services to young people, said: “If those responsible have apologised and it is a genuine error, then there is not much more that can be done. “I understand why others are concerned, but most of my details are online because of the council work anyway. “It is not ideal, but what is done is done.”
The introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules in May 2018 increased the penalties regulatiors such as the ICO are able to introduce. It means breaches can result in the ICO issuing penalties equivalent of up to 4% of annual global turnover of £17million-whichever is greater. Previously, the largest penalty the ICO meted out was to Facebook when it was fined £500,000-the maximum allowed at the time-for failing to protect users’ personal data. But in July, British Airways was fined £183 million by the ICO for its own data breach-the largest penalty ever issued by the regulator. The ICO later handed out a £99 million fine to hotel chain Marriott International after it admitted the guest records of around 339 million people had been accessed.
With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Tom Horton for the original story