ICO fine Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry £200,000 for mass email ‘error’

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The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse after the inquiry sent a bulk email that identified victims. The inquiry was formed in the wake of the Jimmy Saville scandal to help investigate the extent of institutional child sexual abuse. The historic abuse inquiry was fined £200,000 by the ICO after sending an email to 90 participants. However, after discovering an error in the original text, they re-sent an updated version which was sent via the “To” function and not the “BCC”. This meant that nearly a hundred email addresses were publicly visible to the entire audience of the email.

The ICO stated:

“This incident placed vulnerable people at risk, which is concerning. IICSA should and could have done more to ensure this did not happen. People’s email addresses can be searched via social networks and search engines, so the risk that they could be identified was significant.”

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