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Minister acknowledges Windrush data error


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes has told Parliament that the personal data of up to 500 people interested in the Windrush compensation scheme was mistakenly made public.

She revealed the breach of data protection in a ministerial statement on the scheme, which is providing compensation for people judged to have been mistreated by the Home Office in dealing with people who had immigrated from the Caribbean as children in the 1950s.

Nokes said that in promoting the scheme through emails to interested parties an “administrative error” was made in which some of the recipients received others’ email addresses.

A recall was carried out as soon as the mistake was identified and no other personal data was included in the emails; but the error prompted the Home Office to report itself to the ICO in line with the Data Protection Act.

It has also begun an internal review.

Nokes (pictured) said: “I am firmly committed to doing right by the Windrush generation. The compensation scheme is an important step towards that and I will ensure that action is taken to ensure the highest standards are met not only in the processing of cases, but also in continued efforts to publicise the scheme and ensure those entitled to redress receive it.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has indicated that the department plans to pay out around £200 million to compensate victims of mistreatment under the “hostile environment” to illegal immigrants under the Coalition Government. A number of people were wrongly deported under the Home Office policy of the time.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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