Post Office betrays postmasters yet again: Fury as bungling Post Office publishes names and addresses of nearly 600 people wrongfully convicted in the Horizon scandal on its website in ‘horrific’ potential data breach

Post Office betrays postmasters yet again: Fury as bungling Post Office publishes names and addresses of nearly 600 people wrongfully convicted in the Horizon scandal on its website in ‘horrific’ potential data breach


The failed Post Office has published the names and home addresses of postmasters it persecuted during the Horizon scandal.

In what appears to be a stunning data breach, 'arrogant' workers printed their private details on the company's website for anyone to see, the Mail can reveal.

Having already ruined the lives of several people by falsely accusing them of theft, the Post Office's latest betrayal has been branded an insult to injury – and angry victims alerted by the Post have vowed to 'make them pay'.

On the same day that IT professionals are being questioned in the Horizon investigation, the alleged data breach represents another stunning IT failure for the organization. It posted on its website a file of 592 aggrieved postmasters who were involved in suing the Post Office in 2019 – displaying their full names and home addresses including zip code, making it easier for anyone to find them. Many are preparing to receive large sums of money in compensation for the biggest miscarriage of justice ever seen in Britain, and have told of their anger at having their home addresses revealed.

Insultingly, the document containing the details is titled “Confidential Settlement Deed” and states in black and white that its contents are private. It was even signed by the Post Office's chief solicitor, yet it was posted in full on their website.

After the Post Office was notified by the Post Office this afternoon, it changed its website to remove the offending listing. But former postmasters are “sarcastic.” The beleaguered Post Office is now likely to face another investigation, this time by the Information Commissioner who takes personal data breaches very seriously.

This is an edited version of the document containing the personal details that have been published in full

Sir Alan Bates has led the quest for justice

Sir Alan Bates has led the quest for justice

Wendy Boveri, 64, ran a branch in Cheltenham

Wendy Boveri, 64, ran a branch in Cheltenham

Last year, the Commissioner imposed a £1m fine on the Ministry of Defense for losing the data of 245 people.

The 592 former postmasters whose home addresses were published were among the group involved in bringing a High Court case against the Post Office in 2019. Hundreds of innocent people were bankrupted, imprisoned or driven to suicide after being wrongly accused of having their money stolen between 1999 and 2015, when it appeared that money “missing” from their branch accounts was actually the result of a glitch in the company’s Horizon computer system.

The list includes those who brought the scandal to life in ITV's acclaimed four-part drama Mr Bates v the Post Office which sparked national outrage at the way former pillars of their communities were tortured.

“I'm glowing,” said Wendy Boveri, 64, who ran a branch in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, with her husband Doug until their Horizon station ran up a £36,000 deficit and she was prosecuted as a thief. I am very angry. We all thought they couldn't do more for us than they already did.

“They need to pay for this.” It's another thing they did that could ruin one of our lives. They just don't stop, do they?

“People in the outside world know we're all going to get compensation – and all the details of our house are in there? It's absolutely horrific.

Nicola Arch, 53, who was falsely accused of theft at Chalford Hill Post Office in Gloucestershire, said: “They seem completely incompetent.” Our personal information is available to anyone, and this is absolutely disgusting. To say that this makes matters worse is an understatement.

Nicola Arch, 53, was falsely accused of theft at her Chalford Hill post office.

Nicola Arch, 53, was falsely accused of theft at her Chalford Hill post office.

“People know that because of the scale of this scandal, people are going to get compensation. Now, if they get our names and addresses, people know exactly where this money is, and that can raise all kinds of anxiety in victims because they'll think: ‘Oh my God, is someone going to break in? “It's horrific.

“I can't help it,” said Deirdre Connolly, 54, who ran the post office in Killeater, Northern Ireland, with her husband Darius until they were falsely accused of theft – and even asked if they had “taken money for paramilitaries”. charity. Is my home address on this site? My home, my family – what is this?

“It's absolute incompetence,” said her 53-year-old husband. “The fact that they can't keep people's names and addresses private tells you everything you need to know about how their computer system runs.

“As if we needed to see another example of Post Office incompetence!” said Ron Warmington, a forensic investigator whose company Second Sight was appointed to investigate the flawed Horizon system in 2013. This is an extraordinary breach of the confidentiality pledges that the Post Office has so vehemently insisted that we must all – and forever – abide by. The Post Office appears to deploy far more firepower to protect its own data than it does to protect the data identifying the names of its victims.

Lord Arbuthnot, a peer who has defended postmasters for years, told The Mail: “I have long ago stopped expecting much, if anything, from the Post Office, but for them to publish the personal details of claimants in class action litigation is unjustifiable.” efficient”.

“Among many other criminal offenses committed by the Post Office, this alleged data breach amounts to a further intrusion into the privacy of sub-postmasters and their ability to put the matter behind them.” It answers the question of whether the Post Office has learned and improved: but it has not.'

The names and home addresses were listed in a 47-page legal agreement, signed on December 10, 2019, that settled the Supreme Court class action lawsuit midway through trial. The Post Office apparently intended to publish a “redacted” version of the legal agreement on its website, with personal details covered in censorship black ink. Instead, the document was published with everyone's personal details fully exposed.

Raoul Lomb, a partner at data protection law firm SMB, said it appeared to be a “marked breach” of UK data protection laws known as GDPR and showed a “cavalier disregard for the rights of sub-postmasters”.

“The document, which is clearly marked confidential, reveals the names and addresses of every branch office manager who was a plaintiff in the case of Alan Bates and Others v Post Office,” he said.

“It is particularly embarrassing for the Post Office because Clause 12 of the document is a clause that expressly obligates all parties” to maintain [it] Trusted'. Given this, it is difficult to see any justification for the Post Office to release it publicly in a completely unredacted form.

He said the Post Office had a duty to report the breach to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), and added: “Its leak will undoubtedly cause further distress to sub-postmasters who have already suffered enough.” You would expect the ICO to take a very dim view of the breach given the clear expectation of confidentiality and vulnerability of the data subjects mentioned in it. 'I would not be surprised if the Commissioner imposes a fine to punish the Post Office for this apparently fundamental failure to manage its data securely.'

The Post Office said: “The document in question has been removed from our website. We are investigating as an urgent priority how it was published. We are in the process of notifying the Information Commissioner's Office of the incident, in line with our regulatory requirements.”

“We have not received a data breach report in this matter,” the ICO said. Organizations must notify the ICO within 72 hours.



Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index google index