Personal data of 600 people exposed by Scottish Borders Council data breach

Written by Jenni Davidson on 23 February 2021 in News
News

Email addresses and info about eligibility for payments accidentally revealed

Credit: Pixabay

Scottish Borders Council has apologised for a data breach that has affected around 600 people.

The breach happened while the council was letting approximately 1,300 residents know they were eligible for a payment due to receiving free school meals. Three emails were sent to groups of people with the email addresses of all recipients visible.

The council has reported the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office.


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A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise unreservedly to all our customers affected by this data breach and for any distress or embarrassment this has caused. Those customers who have received an email which includes others’ email addresses are asked to delete it.  All payments will be made as planned to these individuals.”

They added: “Individual email addresses were disclosed; this is personal information. The content of the email also outlined that eligibility for the payment was due to the receipt of free school meals, which we absolutely appreciate is a sensitive matter for individuals. We are taking the incident very seriously and have discussed it with the Information Commissioner’s Office. We are taking steps to put in place a technical solution to minimise the chances of a similar incident occurring again.”

 

About the author

Jenni Davidson is a journalist at PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, where this story first appeared. She tweets as @HolyroodJenni.

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