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FCA admits revealing confidential information in data breach

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has referred itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), after it published personal details of 1,600 people as part of a response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

The response related to the number and nature of new complaints made against the FCA and handled by the Complaints Team between January 2, 2018 and July 17, 2019.


It published the information in November 2019 in error, it said.


“As soon as we became aware of this, we removed the relevant data from our website,” it said in a statement. “We have undertaken a full review to identify the extent of any information that may have been accessible. Our primary concern is to ensure the protection and safeguarding of individuals who may be identifiable from the data.”


In many instances, the extent of the accessible information was only the name of the person making the complaint, with no further confidential details or specific details of their complaint, the FCA added.


However, it admitted there are instances where additional confidential information was contained within the description of the complaint, for example an address, telephone number, or other information. Where this is the case, it said it would be making contact with the individuals concerned.


No financial, payment card, passport or other identity information were included, it said.


The FCA has referred itself to the ICO as a result.

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