Feeds

West Yorkshire Gay Police Association in email list leak FAIL

Details of Pride sign-ups spilled

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The Information Commissioner's Office is looking into an alleged breach of the Data Protection Act after the West Yorkshire branch of the Gay Police Association (WYGPA) mistakenly leaked names and email addresses to around 100 people signed up to an LGBT mailing list.

The Register was first alerted to the email gaffe by an eagle-eyed reader who spotted a student doctor complaining about it on Twitter.

"Just received an email from West Yorkshire Police LGBT Association which discloses the email addresses of everyone on their mailing list," said Jacob Lovie on the microblogging site.

"Everyone has been CC'd. I'm in a little bit of shock. It's their entire LGBT mailing list."

He added: "Surely that's in breach of the data protection act? What if any of those people aren't out? Terrible."

However, when El Reg first contacted the West Yorkshire Police, we were surprised by the force's gay police association's initial response to the data-handling cockup.

A spokesman for the West Yorkshire GPA said:

We are aware of this issue in which an email asking for volunteers was sent to interested parties with the addresses listed in the 'cc' field and not the 'bcc' field.

The list to which the email was sent was a community contact list of email addresses volunteered to the West Yorkshire Gay Police Association at Pride events in 2011, for the purpose of circulating information about community projects, events, recruitment or volunteering.

Those emailed were not members of the WYGPA, and had provided their email addresses when attending a public event and indicated they wanted to be contacted with information and news, such as the contents of this email.

No confidential information was disclosed and no other details other than the email addresses of those individuals are held by us, and these email addresses are retained solely by the WYGPA.

We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise to anyone who is concerned by this mistake, which was made innocently, and we would like to assure everyone that steps have been taken to ensure that the same mistake will not happen again.

We pressed the WYGPA for more details about the data blunder and asked several times if it would be informing the ICO of a potential breach.

Late on Friday the WYPGA finally told us that it would be contacting the UK's data watchdog "at the earliest opportunity" and added that the matter had been reported to the force's professional standards department.

the group further confirmed that the mailing list in question contained around 160 email addresses, with around 60 messages bouncing back to the sender.

The ICO said it had "recently been made aware of this possible breach", and added that it would "be making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken".

West Yorkshire Police separately spoke with Jacob Lovie about the data leak. He later tweeted: "Just got off the phone wit[h] West Yorkshire Police, everyt[h]ing has been sorted and they've sent an apology email out. #Impressed." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.