The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has chided South Yorkshire Police over a data breach that saw information on 600 arrests sent to a journalist by mistake.
The force sent data in response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request but accidentally included sensitive information, including details of the offences for which the arrests were made, in a spreadsheet attached to the email.
The ICO said it decided against any financial action as staff at the force are trained regularly on handling FoI requests and the information had been deleted by the recipient once it was realised to have been sent by mistake.
It also said there was little risk of identification of those arrested as no names were included in the spreadsheet.
Nevertheless, the force signed an undertaking agreeing to ensure all future FoI requests are double-checked by managers before being sent out.
South Yorkshire Police said it had carried out extensive checks on previous FoI requests it had responded to in order to ensure similar mistakes were not made in the past.
"South Yorkshire Police self-reported the incident involving a Freedom of Information request to the information commissioner. Following this, working practices have been reviewed," a spokesperson told V3.
"All other requests involving Excel spreadsheets from the last 18 months were also reviewed to ensure that this had not previously occurred."
The incident is just another in the long line of public sector data breaches that the ICO has ruled on in recent months, with several councils and NHS Trusts hit with sizeable fines, including one of £325,000 issued against Brighton and Sussex.
The organisation said it would challenge the fine, though, as it thought it was disproportionate and far too high for it to cover.
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