Chelmsford City Council

Data breach investigated

Chelmsford City Council has investigated a website related error that caused personal data uploaded by some customers to become publicly accessible online.

The council today informed all those affected that it was aware of the error, which meant that their data was available online between 14 November 2018 and 14 December 2018.

These databases contain certain personal information provided by some customers through our online forms. This includes the individuals’ name, address, email address, telephone number, and on one specific form, national insurance numbers. However, the Council does not store any bank details on the website.

The incident was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which has confirmed it will not be taking action against the Council at this time. This is because the Council has quickly responded to the issue by taking the correct remedial steps to address the breach and prevent any future occurrences.

Councillor Anthony McQuiggan, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Information Technology at Chelmsford City Council, commented:

“We take the protection of personal information seriously, and we have acted with immediate effect to address the website error. Since we cannot be sure if the records of these individuals have been viewed, we have reported this issue to the ICO, taken immediate actions to secure our databases, and contacted customers proactively to notify them of the issue. No financial data has been compromised.

“Our investigations have not found any evidence of fraudulent activity related to this event. However, we are taking the precautionary measure of contacting all 6,771 individuals. We have carried out a full and thorough investigation into the cause and implications of this data breach. The council is also currently conducting a full review of its online security policies and safeguards.

“We are very sorry that this situation has arisen and apologise for any distress or inconvenience that this may have caused to those individuals affected.”

Thursday 20 December 2018

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