UK: Sensitive council data put online by mistake

Once again, a breach involving what appears to be over-transparency in government:

Devon County Council is currently examining dozens of documents which had been made available on its website to assess the amount of damage done.

The authority took the action after the Echo made it aware that it had published financial details relating to children who had been excluded from schools in the county as well as children with special educational needs (SEN).

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Although no addresses featured in the document, the full names of children were included along with how much it had cost schools to include them. Additionally, budgets allocated for SEN children, along with their identities, featured.

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A spokesman for the authority said: “We thank the Echo for drawing this to our attention as we take our responsibilities for protecting personal data very seriously. At the same time we also strive to be as transparent as possible with our financial data. On this occasion a mistake has clearly been made in publishing a financial spreadsheet that also contained some low-level personal information that should not have been in the public domain.

Personally, I don’t think that revealing that a child is special needs should be considered “low-level personal information,” but that’s just me.

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