We have been bringing to you several bizarre and interesting stories from the data breach world. A lot of our stories were about IT company data breaches and Medical info breaches. But today’s story comes from altogether another genre of websites. This time data belonging to sports persons has been inadvertently disclosed on the website. Let us get to the bottom of the story.
London Marathon website leaks data
The personal data of 38,000 London Marathon participants was mistakenly published online on April 23; the day after the Marathon event took place. According to the BBC report, the event organizers published the details on the marathon’s web site that were accessible to anyone logging onto the web site on Monday. The details included personal data of celebrities who had taken part in the marathon, including Chef Gordon Ramsa, Nell McAndrew and Labor Party politician Ed Balls.
The problem was first discovered when a television presenter was contacted by a lady who had found her home address on the London Marathon web site. Apparently she saw her address on the section in which commemorative medals could be ordered. The race organizers apologized and now the issue has been resolved.
As to how long the data was actually available on the website is still not known.
Nick Bitel, the chief executive of the London Marathon, said: “We apologize for this error, and are grateful to the BBC for bringing it to our attention.
“We immediately made sure that the glitch was corrected.
“We do not believe that this has led to a substantial number of individuals’ details being accessed by members of the public.”
Data Protection Act
Comment by the spokesman for the Information Commissioner: “This is something the Information Commissioner will need to look in to to see how it has come about.
“It’s the reasons these things come about that determine the course of the investigation. “Every case is different and we will certainly be making inquiries.” As per the Data Protection Act appropriate measures must be taken against accidental loss of personal data.
The act further states that any breaches could be considered either a civil or criminal offence depending on the circumstances.The organizers have tried to downplay the error but if proved then it could amount to a criminal offence.
Negligence can cost embarrassment, monetary loss and bad publicity
The above news item shows that it does not have to be a breach of the data protection act only if a hacker breaks a security code or steals data. Even negligence leading to data exposure is a criminal offence and one has to be extra careful to safeguard personal data of people. You never know how a personal data can be misused in today’s cyber world.
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