ICO fines Islington Council over leak of residents’ data

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Islington Council £ 70,000 for accidentally posting details of 2,375 residents online.

The data was posted on the What Do They Know (WDTK) website as part of a response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request and contained sensitive personal information about residents’ housing needs, such as: B. Information on whether or not they have been exposed to domestic violence or insanity.

Islington Council released three tables on June 26 and 27 that relate to its housing performance team’s work – specifically, the allocation of housing to residents. The authorities failed to determine that the documents contained information on 2,375 residents who were either community tenants or who had applied for social housing.

The data was available on the website until July 14th when one of the administrators noticed the error and wrote down the information. WDTK reported the problem to the ICO two days later.

According to the ICO, the council was informed of the problem shortly after looking at the first table on the website but was unable to correct the error, which resulted in the publication of the other two tables with the same problem.

The ICO added that the data leak was due to a lack of understanding of the pivot tables used in Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs to neatly summarize large amounts of data.

Stephen Eckersley, Head of the ICO Enforcement Agency, said, “This mistake not only compromised sensitive personal information relating to residents, but highlighted the lack of training and expertise within the council. Confidential personal information is entrusted to councils, and so are residents are right to expect that it will be handled correctly. Unfortunately, this did not happen in this case, and Islington Council must now explain to residents how to prevent these mistakes from happening again. ”

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