Data Security, Breach, Privacy

Northern Ireland police breach compromises entire force

CNN reports that the Police Service of Northern Island had the names and ranks of their entire force consisting of 10,000 police officers compromised following a data breach, which stemmed from improper data sharing following a Freedom of Information request that sought to know the police force's population. All of the police service's current workforce had their surnames, initials, and ranks or grades, as well as their locations and departments, detailed in a spreadsheet created by a PSNI staff member, which was available online for over two hours, according to PSNI Senior Information Risk Owner Chris Todd. "Although it was made available as a result of our own error, anyone who did access the information before it was taken down is responsible for what they do with it next. It is important that data anyone has accessed is deleted immediately," Todd said. The incident has been regarded by Northern Ireland's Police Federation to be "a breach of monumental proportions." "Inadequate or poor oversight of FOI procedures must be addressed and addressed urgently. New safeguards are obviously required to prevent this from ever happening again," said Police Federation Chair Liam Kelly.

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