English council accidentally outs residents

A local council in London has mistakenly made the sexual orientations of nearly 2,500 residents public in an online data leak

English council accidentally outs residents
29 July 2012

Islington London Borough Council accidentally made the sexualities of nearly 2,500 of its residents public in a Freedom of Information (FOI) bungle in July.

Town hall staff accidentally leaked the names, addresses, relationship statuses, genders, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations of around 2,400 people who had been re-housed by the council.

The Islington Gazette reported that the information was freely available on the internet for 19 days before the problem was discovered, although the council believes it was only accessed seven times during that period.

Council staff discovered the problem on July 16, just four days after it had held a public briefing about another data leak in which the names and addresses of 51 residents were given to suspected drug dealers on a local housing estate.

A resident who was a victim of both data leaks told the Islington Gazette, ‘I am so angry I can’t even speak.’

‘I got the letter on Wednesday and I was shocked. How could this happen again? I am very fearful now, but I don’t want to have to move.’

Councillor Terry Stacey, who heads the minority Liberal Democrats faction on council, told the Gazette, ‘This comes less than a week after we were reassured by the Labour leadership after supposedly thorough audits of data protection at the council that everything was OK and this couldn’t happen again.’

‘How wrong it seems they were. This is yet another data disaster, and this time more than 2,000 resident’s details are out in the public domain because of incompetence from this Labour council.’

Labour housing and development councilor James Murray said the mistake should have never happened.

‘I am angry and disappointed,’ Murray said, ‘Islington residents need to know that their personal information is safe with the council.’

‘An investigation is underway and I have made clear that I want any and every lesson to be learned.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Harvard professor apologizes for blaming dead gay economist for global financial crisis

Niall Ferguson, author and history professor at Harvard University, recants connecting John Maynard Keynes’ homosexuality to ‘destructive’ economic policies
No thumbnail available

Hungarian law on religion conflicts with equal treatment

European Commission will determine if law is compatible with EU non-discrimination law 
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

David Furnish apologizes for Madonna rant

Sir Elton John's husband, Furnish, praises 'great artist' after Golden Globe Madonna comments
No thumbnail available

Showgirls star Gina Gershon wishes she was a lesbian

US actress who became a lesbian icon after starring in Bound says her gay female fans give her the best presents
Thousands march at gay pride parade in Seoul amid protests by anti-gay Christian protesters

Thousands march at gay pride parade in Seoul amid protests by anti-gay Christian protesters

Protesters tried to disrupt the parade by lying on the street, some 5,000 police officers mobilized
No thumbnail available

Daniel Sprich: ‘There is a German saying, "Work is work, and private is private"'

Sprich works in the oil and gas industry as a systems advisor for BP. Here he talks about the differences in work culture regarding LGBTI issues between Germany and the UK
No thumbnail available

White House race 2012: Mitt Romney and gay rights

In the first of a special two-part feature, GSN looks at Barack Obama’s challenger in the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney, and his LGBT record
No thumbnail available

Calvin Klein's ex-boyfriend writing a tell-all book

Nick Gruber to reveal intimate details in book What Came Between Me and My Calvin
Here are the 17 best pictures from the Brighton Pride parade

Here are the 17 best pictures from the Brighton Pride parade

Thousands of people celebrated equality and the LGBTI community in the UK seaside city