This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.X

Gwent Police accidentally emails a file containing the personal details of over 10,000 people

Share this article:

The first major UK data loss has been reported since the Information Commissioner's fines were introduced.

More than 10,000 full names and dates of birth were exposed by Gwent Police after a file was accidentally emailed to The Register on Friday, which detailed the results of criminal records checks.

It claimed that the file, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that was not encrypted or password protected, contained the full names and dates of birth of 10,006 people in jobs or applying for jobs where a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure is required.

It detailed the results of the checks going back to 2001 and so identified 863 people as having been in trouble with the police. In many cases it recorded their occupations, including dozens of taxi drivers, school and hospital workers.

The author of the email at Gwent Police is now facing a gross misconduct investigation and potential sacking over the incident, which came to light this week. The Register said that it has now deleted the file in cooperation with Gwent Police's professional standards officers.

Human error is being blamed for the action as the author used the auto-complete function in Novell's email software to include the journalist's address, along with those of five Gwent Police officials in the ‘CC' field of the message.

It reported that Gwent Police asked The Register to consider not publishing a story about its serious data breach saying it would undermine public confidence in the force, but it declined.

Gwent Police deputy Chief Constable Carmel Napier said in a statement: “As a Force we have strict policies and procedures in place relating to data security but regrettably these were not followed on this occasion. We are very sorry that we have on this occasion failed to meet our own high standards.” 

Share this article:

SC webcasts on demand

This is how to secure data in the cloud


Exclusive video webcast & Q&A sponsored by Vormetric


As enterprises look to take advantage of the cloud, they need to understand the importance of safeguarding their confidential and sensitive data in cloud environments. With the appropriate security safeguards, such as fine-grained access policies, a move to the cloud is as, or more, secure than an on-premise data storage.


View the webcast here to find out more

More in News

4% of Googlebots are fake and can launch attacks

4% of Googlebots are fake and can ...

Admins' fear of damaging their SEO gives malicious search engine bots a 'VIP pass' into sites.

Brit Lauri Love faces more US hacking charges

Brit Lauri Love faces more US hacking charges

Lauri Love, a 29-year-old British man from Stradishall in Suffolk, has been charged by a US court with hacking into multiple US government computers and stealing more than 100,000 employee ...

More questions than answers as BBC outage fuels DDoS talk

More questions than answers as BBC outage fuels ...

The British Broadcasting Corporation was hit by a prolonged outage on its website and iPlayer video-on-demand service (VOD) last weekend, raising questions about the cause and whether it was subjected ...