ICO rebukes police email blunder which ‘outed’ abuse victims

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Gloucestershire Police have been fined £80,000 after the ICO found that the identities of abuse victims had been revealed in a bulk email disclosure. The mistake occurred when a police officer used the “To” field as oppose to the “BCC” field when copying email addresses into a sensitive email. By sending it via the ‘To’ field, the email addresses of all the victims were available to all recipients. The ICO noted that this was a “serious breach” and “one which was likely to cause substantial distress to vulnerable victims of abuse, many of whom were also legally entitled to lifelong anonymity.”

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