The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is investigating a serious data breach as it has become apparent that the names and details of victims of crime in Greater Manchester have been accidentally put online.
Those affected include witnesses, people who were reporting crime and victims of sexual abuse, who have a legal right to remain anonymous.
The Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes has released a statement and advised that the breach occurred during a test by their supplier and was reported to the ICO as soon as possible.
It has been confirmed that informant details have not been breached but a snippet of details were accessible by an external contractor.
It is also reported that this breach affected the details of thousands of people.
Bev Hughes, deputy mayor for Greater Manchester for policing crime and criminal justice has said that the public need to trust public bodies and an error like this, should never happen.
She stated “It is incredibly important that victims of crime can be completely reassured that significant amounts of their personal data have not been published, and I have requested an urgent update from Greater Manchester Police on this specific point.
“Further, I have asked for an explanation as to why I and the mayor of Greater Manchester were not informed of this incident at the earliest opportunity.
“We await the findings of the independent Information Commissioner’s Office’s investigation. In the meantime, I am seeking swift reassurance from GMP that processes are being put in place to ensure this cannot ever reoccur.”
The ICO and GMP are currently investigating the matter. The ICO have the power to issue a fine on the party liable if the details have been accessed by unauthorised persons.
Individuals affected and those that have suffered any loss or distress may be entitled to compensation as a result of this breach. If you would like to confidentially discuss this matter, please contact our Data Breach team on 0161 637 8588