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New Year's Honours data breach

29 December 2019

The government has apologised "to all those affected" after accidentally publishing the addresses of over 1,000 New Year Honour recipients online.

The file - which included details of senior police officers and politicians - was uploaded to an official website on Friday evening, the 27th December, and removed on Saturday.

Among the addresses disclosed were those of Sir Elton John and former director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders.  Also on the list of 1,097 honours recipients were high-profile names such as cricketer Ben Stokes, former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith, TV cook Nadiya Hussain, and former Ofcom boss Sharon White.

A government spokesman said: "... a version of the New Year Honours 2020 list was published in error which contained recipients' addresses ... The information was removed as soon as possible ... and ... we have reported the matter to the ICO [Information Commissioner's Office] and are contacting all those affected directly."

The ICO, which has the power to fine organisations for data breaches, and has said it will be "making enquiries".

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