Home Office Apologises As Details Of Hundreds Of EU Citizens Shared In 'Administrative Error'

The 'blind CC' box had not been ticked.

The Home Office has apologised after the details of hundreds of EU citizens who applied for settled status were accidentally shared.

An “administrative error” was blamed for the blunder, which saw the private information of 240 applicants shared in an email after the department failed to use the ‘blind CC’ function.

The email, sent on April 7, was asking applicants who had faced technical difficulties to resubmit their information.

A subsequent apology message told recipients that “the deletion of the email you received from us on 7 April 2019 would be greatly appreciated.”

A recipient of the email told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme that she was considering returning to Germany following the blunder, which left her outraged.

Millions of EU citizens living in the UK before Brexit will have to register for settled status, a scheme which has been widely criticised.

In January, the Home Office scrapped the application fee for the scheme, which was £65 for adults and £32.50 for under-16s.

A Home Office spokesman said: “In communicating with a small group of applicants, an administrative error was made which meant other applicants’ email addresses could be seen.

“As soon as the error was identified, we apologised personally to the 240 applicants affected and have improved our systems and procedures to stop this occurring again.”

The error is likely to have breached the Data Protection Act, and could mean the department is forced to apologise in Parliament.

It comes just days after the Home Office apologised “unreservedly” to victims of the Windrush scandal for a similar error, in which 500 people and organisations were caught up.

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes revealed on Monday that an email sent to people and organisations who had registered and interest in the compensation scheme had their email addresses accidentally shared, in a Data Protection breach.

Nokes said the gaffe was down to an “administrative error”.

In a statement, she said: “A recall was commenced as soon as the problem had been identified. The departmental data protection officer has been informed and an internal review will be conducted to ensure this cannot happen again.”


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