25/05/2018 12:51 BST

Information Commissioner Will Probe 'Data Breach' At Jaguar Land Rover Plant

After HuffPost reported huge leak of data at luxury car maker's factory.

POOL New / Reuters
Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull manufacturing plant near Birmingham.

Britain’s data watchdog is to probe an apparent leak of employee data at Jaguar Land Rover’s West Midlands factory.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said on Friday that it will look into the situation at the luxury car maker’s Solihull site after HuffPost UK reported personal data was being circulated amongst the workforce.

An ICO spokesperson said: “We are aware of an incident involving Jaguar Land Rover and will be making enquiries.”

The breach affected agency staff at German logistics firm DHL, which works with Jaguar to deliver parts to car assembly lines.

HuffPost obtained documents which revealed the personal data of 647 staff employed by DHL via an agency called Staffline.

The documents appeared to have been compiled in preparation for mass redundancies.

HuffPost UK
A screenshot of one of the leaked documents, including workers marked by red coloured cells - explained as those 'leaving the business'.

The files contained the names, payroll numbers, disciplinary records and even the number of sick days taken by staff.

Another leaked list showed whether workers have been injured or if they have a disability. 

One file, titled “release list”, showed hundreds of staff marked with red lines – suggesting they will be let go.

One worried worker said they have yet to be formally told about specific redundancies since cuts were announced in April.

The worker said: “It’s disgusting really. People are walking round telling each other when they are leaving the business.”

Responding to questions over the leaked documents on Thursday, Jaguar Land Rover said: “We are aware of this extremely serious situation and we have raised this matter with DHL and we are investigating.”

A spokesperson for DHL said: “DHL is aware of an incident concerning a document containing a limited amount of personal data of a number of agency workers on the account.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Staffline said it takes data protection “very seriously” and has “a dedicated data protection team to ensure the highest levels of protection are in place”. 

“In this instance we understand that the data provided was done so in a compliant manner and was only shared with authorised personnel,” they added.

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