Plymouth City Council suffers email horror

Local authority goes to ICO after data breach in which error shows up details on recipients of council tax reminder

Plymouth City Council has reported that it is investigating a data breach around an automated email for a council tax reminder or final notice.

eMail iconIt inadvertently sent the message to 218 residents with the email addresses of all recipients visible – while the email contained no other content.

The council published a statement saying: “We are treating this data breach very seriously and have reported it to the information commissioner, as well as carrying out a full investigation into the cause of the error.

“We apologise for this error and have suspended all automated emails relating to council tax until our investigations are complete.

“We have contacted all of the people affected and asked them to delete the email they received.”

It is not the first time that Plymouth Council has been involved with the Information Commissioner’s Office. In 2012 it was fined £60,000 for a breach of the Data Protection Act, after the details of a child neglect case were sent to the wrong recipient the previous year.

Image by AJC1, CC BY 2.0 through flickr