Feeds

Home Office clumsily LEAKS data of 1,598 immigrants, blames 'transparency'

Nodding watchdog: We're looking closely at this one

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Home Office has embarrassingly coughed to accidentally leaking the personal details of 1,598 immigrants.

Applicants in the “family returns” process had some of their personal data exposed online for nearly a fortnight, immigration minister Mark Harper admitted in a written statement to Parliament on Thursday.

He blamed the government's transparency agenda for the error by, in effect, suggesting that such a data breach was a horrible side effect of Whitehall being more open with taxpayers about its policies.

Harper said:

Unfortunately between 15 and 28 October 2013 some personal data was available on the Home Office website as part of a spreadsheet alongside the regular data set in error. This was identified by Home Office officials on 28 October 2013 and the personal information was removed immediately.

The personal data related to the names of 1,598 main applicants in the family returns process, their date of birth and limited details about their immigration case type and status. It did not include personal addresses or financial information.

The minster added that the Home Office had confessed to the cockup by notifying the Information Commissioner's Office of the breach. Harper claimed that measures had been implemented to prevent such a blunder recurring. Bods at Theresa May's department have also scanned the HO site to check for any similar errors that may have previously taken place.

Fewer than 30 people visited the relevant website page during the period when the sensitive data was exposed, Harper claimed.

A spokesman at the ICO told The Register that the watchdog had been informed of the clumsy mistake.

"We will 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," he said. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?