Details of PSNI officers and staff based at MI5 included in ‘potentially the UKs worst data leak’…

As nekomimi pointed out in the comments on yesterday’s post:

The fact this came from a freedom of information request is hilarious. All that time the provos spent trying to gather information on the police or infiltrate them and all they had to do was ask nicely.

You really could not make it up. In his story in the Beltel Sam McBride points out that information on 39 serving officers and staff working at MI5 in Holywood was included in the published data. Names that even only PSNI officers would not be trusted with.

Questions need to be asked of who internally in the PSNI had access to this data and what controls were in place to prevent its misuse. To be able to look up details of ALL serving PSNI officers and staff seems an insane security hole.

Sam also points out that while the PSNI are apologetic about their ‘human error’, they are showing less forgiveness to their own officers:

Two weeks ago, the Belfast Telegraph reported on an officer who three years ago was accused by the PSNI of breaking the pandemic restrictions by coming into work straight after returning from a holiday in Portugal.

A court threw out the case against him, so it is now clear that he did not break the law — and even if he had done so, it was a minor offence generally dealt with through the police equivalent of a parking ticket.

But the police seized all the data on his personal phone — years of photos, messages and other highly private information — before going on a fishing exercise. When challenged in the High Court, the PSNI admitted that it had broken the Data Protection Act in rifling through all the data on his phone.

The officer who did not break the law is still being disciplined while those who did break the law are not being disciplined.

Is it really a shock that an organisation which has such an open disregard for the Data Protection Act has so dramatically demonstrated why protecting personal data is of critical importance?

Moral in the PSNI was already pretty low with 550 officers off sick each day.  To quote Gilbert and Sullivan ‘a policeman’s lot is not a happy one’.

Expect this story to run and run…

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