Newcastle City Council has apologised after an employee accidentally leaked the details of thousands of children and their adoptive parents.
A spreadsheet identifying 2,743 people was attached to an email inviting 77 people to the council’s annual adoption summer party.
The breach included children’s names, addresses and dates of birth. It is being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Ewen Weir, the council’s director of people, said: “I am truly sorry for the distress caused to all those affected. We will work closely with the affected families and individuals to support them at this trying time.”
In a statement online the council said it would take a number of steps to mitigate the impact of the breach and prevent it from happening again. It is setting up a helpline and counselling service and contacting those affected.
A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner’s Office told New Statesman Tech it was aware of the incident and is making enquiries: “Organisations have a duty to protect people’s privacy, especially where sensitive personal data may be involved.”