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Enquiry into council data breach

“I’m still shocked that this could happen"

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

West Berkshire Council logo

A COUNCIL data breach is being investigated after the personal details of residents were accidentally distributed by its housing service. 

The investigation comes after a West Berkshire Council officer emailed approximately 30 people to their personal addresses about an assisted housing bid. 

One recipient replied to the officer, meaning that her response was sent to all addressees included in the email.

One person included in the chain told the Newbury Weekly News: “I’m still shocked that this could happen.

“West Berkshire Council hold so much sensitive info that breaches like this, where our personal email address are shared to persons unknown, should never happen.

“I do feel that we should know that our personal information is safe in West Berkshire Council’s hands.”

Council spokeswoman Peta Stoddart-Crompton said: “The housing service escalated the issue to the council’s data protection officer as soon as it was discovered, as per the council’s policy.

“In line with GDPR requirements, the breach was assessed within 72 hours to identify whether it met the threshold for escalation to the Information Commissioner’s Office. 

“In this case, the breach was not a result of malicious action, hacking or cyber attack, was limited in scope, did not present a serious risk of detriment to data subjects and did not involve any sensitive or ‘special category’ data, so no further regulatory action was deemed necessary.

“The incident will be the subject of internal investigation.”

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