The Metropolitan Police Service has admitted that it revealed the email addresses of over 1,000 victims of crime in an embarrassing security breach that could see the force fined up to £500,000.
The organisation confirmed the incident occurred on Monday and attributed it to "human error" after it attempted to email the victims to ask for feedback on the MPS's telephone investigation service that deals with the the public for such incidents.
"In total 1,136 emails were sent out in seven batches of between 119 and 198 recipients but because the addresses were put in the wrong box they were visible to the other recipients in the batch," it said.
"No other personal details were revealed and we are contacting everyone affected to explain what happened and to apologise."
The organisation added that it was reviewing its processes to ensure such an incident would not happen again. It has already notified the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) of the data breach.
An ICO spokesman told V3 that it was aware of the possible data breach.
"We will be making enquiries into the circumstance of the alledged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken."
The incident comes to light on the same day that information commissioner Christopher Graham revealed to V3 that he has sent a letter to English local authorities urging them to improve their data protection policies as the public sector continues to leak personal information.
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