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FOI data breaches prompt investigation into Cabinet Office

Officer accessed personal data contained in over 540 requests

Data breaches in a number of government departments and public authorities have sparked an investigation.

The Information Commissioner has confirmed a senior officer in Cabinet Office accessed personal data in the system used to record and manage Freedom of Information requests.

An investigation was launched after it received a personal data breach report from the Department of Health and Social Care.

It has confirmed that between 1 April 2022 and 22 March 2023 the individual accessed the personal data contained 'in over 540 FOI requests, made to 20 separate public authorities, on more than 1,200 occasions'.

The information viewed relates to both the detail of the request and the name, address and contact details of the requester.

The Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance has confirmed that no personal information has been viewed by any individual outside of the public service or transferred outside of the Government network. 

This has led to the assessment that the risks to the rights and freedoms of data subjects is low.

The public authorities affected are:

  • Department of Education, Sport and Culture
  • Department for Enterprise
  • Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture
  • Department of Health and Social Care
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • Department of Infrastructure
  • Treasury
  • Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading
  • Isle of Man Financial Services Authority
  • Isle of Man Post Office
  • Manx Utilities Authority
  • Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
  • Public Sector Pensions Authority
  • Manx Care
  • HM Attorney General’s Chambers
  • Isle of Man Constabulary/Chief Constable
  • Clerk of Tynwald
  • General Registry
  • Manx Museum and National Trust
  • Road Transport Licensing Committee

Anyone who submitted an FOI request to any of the affected public authorities in the affected time period who wishes to find out whether they have been impacted, should contact the public authority directly.

Cabinet Office declined Manx Radio's request for comment, as the investigation is still ongoing.


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