Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Landlord in hot water over accidental data breach

A housing association has launched an internal investigation after it sent sensitive personal information about its employees to hundreds of staff.

Network Housing Group accidentally emailed around 300 staff a spreadsheet understood to contain details of employees’ sexuality, ethnicity and disability status.

The Information Commissioner’s Office and the housing regulator have been informed.

The ICO, which can issue penalty fines of up to £500,000 for serious data breaches, confirmed it was investigating the 17,500-home association.

A spokesperson for Network Housing Group said that ‘all possible remedial action was taken to mitigate the disclosure’.

She said: ‘We take this occurrence and data protection generally very seriously and have launched a full investigation into this incident and a thorough review of data protection controls in human resources and across the wider organisation.’

A spokesperson for the Homes and Communities Agency said: ‘As the regulator, we will maintain a watching brief – we expect to see a full investigation and a review of data controls.

‘We will monitor the situation to ensure these two actions happen, and that the impact of those affected is managed and that lessons are learned.’

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