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Manchester University has been censured by the Information Commissioner's Office for publishing personal information about students. The ICO said it had taken enforcement action against the university for a breach of the Data Protection Act after a member of staff emailed an attachment to 469 students which contained the …

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Boffin

never mind if you lose your job....

You can go and work on some of their IT projects.

interviewer: Have you any previous experience of working with Personal Data.

Yes

interviewer: Have you ever lost any data/misled data.

No.

interviewer: Excellent you can have the job.

I did email Personal Data to a load of people, Does that count?

interviewer: No we all make silly mistakes like that here.

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Ash
Go

New clause to the DPA

- If a person should divulge data or information in a manner other than allowed by (section, subsection) of the Data Protection Act, it shall be considered an act of Gross Negligence as covered within his Contract of Employment.

There. Cock up like this and you lose your job and have references refused.

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personal liability

Until data loses are a case of personal liability and individual sanction as a result .. i.e. You Lost the data so YOU loose your job!

.. then the ICO will continue to be toothless.

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Thumb Down

Censored, Enforcement?

So, for a fairly serious breach of the DPA, Manchester Uni have.....been made to promise to do what they should have been doing anyway?

Does the ICO get it's enforcement training from the Advertising Standards Agency?

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Paris Hilton

This article was originally published at Kable.

This article was originally published at Kable, on their website banner it says "Intelligence for the public services community"

Yeah, that'll be the day....

Can I be the first to use the Paris icon on this story about cock ups

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Boffin

Re: Censored, Enforcement?

"So, for a fairly serious breach of the DPA, Manchester Uni have.....been made to promise to do what they should have been doing anyway?

"Does the ICO get it's enforcement training from the Advertising Standards Agency?"

No, this is the way the Data Protection Act is written.

It is probable that Manchester Uni received an Enforcement Notice (see Section 40 of the Act). An offence only occurs if they fail to comply with the Enforcement Notice (see Section 47).

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And there will always be idiots.

Unfortunately, the one thing idiots are good at is breeding so don't expect cock ups like this to get rarer no matter the 'punishment'.

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RW
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What actually happened?

What was the core incompetence pointed to by "emailed an attachment to 469 students which contained the personal records of 1,700 people"?

Was it that the attachment properly contained records of 1700 people but should have only gone to one recipient? Did the originator confuse a personal email address with the name of a list of email addresses?

Or was it that the 469 recipients were indeed correctly specified, but the attachment contained extraneous information, perhaps due to an improperly specified DB extract?

Or was it a combination of both? Did the originator intend to send to each of 469 people only their own personal information?

And let me ask: were the 469 recipients' email addresses all stuffed into To: headers, or did the originator at least have the gumption to use BCC?

These questions are important because without the answers it's impossible to tell what actually went wrong. And without that knowledge, it's impossible to institute corrective education regarding email addressing, extraction from DBs, etc.

What I smell here is a secretary or other uneducated, underpaid flunky being delegated a task beyond their competence. IT isn't for dummies!

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