100 data breaches made during UK's handling of the EU Settlement Scheme

Home Office in breach of GDPR with reports of misplaced ID documents

More than 20 data breaches a month were made during the Home Office's administration of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), a report has found. 

Over the course of five months from April 2019 to August of the same year, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and immigration (ICIBI) said that the scheme had seen 100 breaches of data.

Related Resource

Digital Risk Report 2020

A global view into the impact of digital transformation on risk and security management

Download now

This involved passport and identification documents going missing in office and during postage where a number had been delivered to the wrong address. 

This is the second time the ICIBI has conducted an investigation into the Home Office's administration of settled status applications and also the second time the governing body has been found to have breached data protection laws with regard to immigration. 

"The information provided to inspectors regarding data breaches was concerning," chief inspector David Bolt wrote in his report. "Not least the increase in breaches each month between April and July 2019 (with a slight dip in August 2019), albeit most of those to the end of June were due to a postal company rather than EUSS staff or processes. 

"Data breaches damage public confidence, and applicants will blame the Home Office, whether or not this is fair. It is therefore important for the Home Office to do everything it can to keep breaches to a minimum. Most appear to have involved document handling errors and these should be easiest to prevent with clear instructions and good organisation." 

In June and July, there were a reported 38 occurrences of documents being misplaced by a postal company. However, there were 10 incidents of ID documents being misplaced within the EUSS office and further reports that documents had been sent to the wrong address and information shared with an unauthorised third party. 

"We take data protection very seriously and have apologised personally to those affected. We have already taken steps to stop them happening again," a Home Office spokesperson told IT Pro

In April 2019, the Home Office had to apologise for exposing the email addresses of those involved in the Windrush compensation scheme - which was also a breach of GDPR

Featured Resources

Become a digital service provider

How to transform your business from network core to edge

Download now

Optimal business results with the cloud

Evaluating the best approaches to hybrid cloud adoption

Download now

Virtualisation that enables choices, not compromises

Harness the virtualisation technology that's right for your hybrid infrastructure

Download now

Email security threat report 2020

Four key trends from spear fishing to credentials theft

Download now

Most Popular

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail
email delivery

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail

6 Jan 2021
The fate of Parler exposes the reality of deregulated social media
Policy & legislation

The fate of Parler exposes the reality of deregulated social media

14 Jan 2021
Should IT departments to call time on WhatsApp?
communications

Should IT departments to call time on WhatsApp?

15 Jan 2021