Previous data breaches by public bodies and companies

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The Cabinet Office has apologised after a list of the home addresses of New Year Honours recipients was accidentally posted online.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at some previous data blunders by public bodies and companies.

– Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea fined £120,000 for identifying owners of vacant homes

Tower block fire in London

The names of those who owned the empty homes, as well as the addresses of the properties, were sent to three journalists who had requested statistical information from the council under the Freedom of Information Act.

– 3,295 people working for MPs affected by watchdog data breach

London skyline stock
Staff details were available online (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Scores of sensitive documents about the employees were available to be viewed on an old Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority website for nearly five hours.

The authority said the error amounted to a “serious data breach”.

– Northamptonshire County Council

Northamptonshire County Council accidentally published data on more than 1,400 children in 2015 – including their names, address, religion and special educational needs status, according to The Guardian.

The data was reportedly removed within a few hours of publication.

– HMRC issued with enforcement notice for failure to get consent to collect personal data

HMRC figures

Seven million callers to some of HMRC’s helplines had been asked to record their voice so that it could be used as a password.

However, the ICO ordered that the data be wiped after it found that callers had not been given any further information about the voice identification system and had not been told that they did not have to participate.

– BA faces record £183 million fine over customer data hack

British Airways planes parked at the Engineering Base at Heathrow Airport on day one of the first-ever strike by British Airways pilots. (PA)
British Airways was heavily fined (PA)

Personal data relating to around half a million passengers was compromised during the hacking incident, the ICO said.

– Hotel firm Marriott fined £99 million for customer data breach

In July, the ICO announced its intention to fine the chain £99 million after it admitted the guest records of 339 million customers had been accessed.

Seven million of those records were said to be related to UK residents.

– Facebook handed £500,000 fine over personal data use in political campaigns

Facebook stock

The ICO found that between 2007 and 2014 Facebook processed user data by letting third-party app developers access person information without the user’s informed consent.

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