Search

Huge data leak sees personal details of 15,000 Hackney residents published online

13:57 19 December 2014

Hackney Council released the personal and financial details of 15,000 residents online.

Hackney Council released the personal and financial details of 15,000 residents online.

Archant

A massive blunder has seen the sensitive personal details of 15,000 Hackney residents – including address, sexuality and rent accounts – leaked online.

Bungling council officers have also revealed the age and housing benefit entitlement of Hackney Homes tenants and leaseholders in the botched Freedom of Information request, which was inadvertently published in full on the website What Do They Know (WDTK).

The private information was publicly available online for 11 days before the error was noticed on November 25 – but affected residents were only informed of the huge data breach in a letter sent out this week.

Hackney Council insists that only 11 people viewed the document, and that the data would have only been accessible to people with “detailed” IT knowledge.

But the data remains in the hands of the person who requested the FOI, and residents affected said they have been left vulnerable and in fear of identity theft.

One victim, Alan Zeligson, described the incident as “shocking” and said: “The information that was available on the website may be sold on. Residents and leaseholders are at risk of having their identities stolen.”

Tim Abrahams, 48, a Hackney Homes resident in Homerton, said: “It just seems to me that they are completely incompetent. I would say that is a product of the failure of the organisation as a whole and that if any individuals are going to get fired, it should be somebody at the top.”

Henry Bulbrook, 52, said: “I thought the letter was incredibly blaze. I’m sick at the moment so I’m on benefits. They have put a lot of people in peril.”

Another resident, Sandra, who didn’t want to give her full name, told the Gazette: “I have been made extremely vulnerable by this because I am elderly and I can’t get around well without a crutch. It’s obvious why I don’t want people to know my address.

“I know that only 11 people viewed the document, but it only takes one or two bad people for this to be devastating. Lovely Christmas present from Hackney Homes.”

A spokesman from the Information Commissioners’ Office confirmed that it is currently making enquiries into the incident.

Hackney Homes chief executive Charlotte Graves said: “Hackney Homes and the Council takes data protection very seriously and we’re very sorry that this has happened.

“As soon as we were made aware, we ensured the information was removed and wrote to those residents whose details were included. We have also taken immediate action to ensure it does not happen again.”

A spokesman for the council added that the data “was accessible to those with detailed IT knowledge who could potentially manipulate the spreadsheet to reveal the information” and not a “casual viewer of the document”.

In the light of the incident, the council have warned residents to be vigilant of telephone scammers and have said they have taken necessary steps to ensure it will not happen again

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we spoke to two friends who are keeping knitting and sewing cool.

Fri, 19:00

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we speak to Jack Cartwright from Our London, which blends and hand bottles vodka at a micro-distillery in the railway arches underneath Hackney Downs station.

Fri, 17:15

Traditional cars will be banned from parking and loading in parts of Shoreditch in the hope of cleaning up its filthy air.

Fri, 14:01

Banners bearing messages of “solidarity and common humanity” that were made at Mare Street’s Five Points brewery warehouse have been dropped from all 10 major bridges across the Thames to mark Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Fri, 07:45

Detectives investigating an alleged rape in Victoria Park last Friday have arrested and charged a man.

Thu, 18:29

A “violent” robber beat his victim about the face, before embarking on a spending spree at a Westfield betting shop with his bank cards “without a care in the world”.

Thu, 16:21

Police investigating a street brawl in Lower Clapton during which a traffic warden allegedly ran over a man’s foot on a moped are appealing for witnesses.

Thu, 14:21

Stamford Hill’s volunteer group Shomrim helped bring eight convictions for anti-Semitic violence last year – thought to represent more than half the prosecutions for the offence in Britain.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists