The data watchdog says an investigation into Newcastle's Citizen's Advice Bureau could take up to a year. The charity accidentally published hundreds of files of personal information. They included debt histories and criminal records.
The criminal records and debt history of hundreds of people in the North East have been accidentally published on the internet by an advice service, in what could be a major breach of the Data Protection Act.
The watchdog on data and information is now investigating, after Newcastle Citizens Advice Bureau inadvertently released more than 1,000 confidential files.
Dan Ashby has been following the story.
The Citizens Advice Bureau also accidentally published staff log-in details to access their website.
Ironically they also accidentally published letters assuring clients that their advice was strictly confidential.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has issued a statement saying people can still speak to them in total confidence, as it opened an investigation into a possible data protection breach.
– Shona Alexander, Chief Executive, Newcastle CAB
“This isolated incident at Newcastle CAB is being thoroughly investigated. I’d like to reassure people that, because we take data protection extremely seriously, they can speak to us in total confidence - all Newcastle CAB staff and volunteers are fully trained in Information Assurance
Newcastle Citizens Advice Bureau has accidentally published 1,300 files on the internet, including clients' names, addresses, debt histories and criminal records.
The Information Commissioner's Office has confirmed it is looking into the possible data protection breach.