Error in Register Sends Wandsworth Residents’ Personal Details to Cyberspace

Bob Styran, IT audit expert
January 18, 2011 /

A constituent of Tooting MP Sadiq Khan has drawn the attention of Information Commissioner’s Office to a privacy breach he discovered from a website that lists personal details including names, addresses, age of individuals, and business locations and data, a Wandsworth online news source reported.

The personal details originated from an automated electoral roll register which went defective, resulting in the information listed there being published in, an online directory that has a section for people’s addresses, phone numbers, age guides, property prices, and aerial photos obtained from electoral rolls beginning 2002 through 2010.

The concerned resident, who requested anonymity, said he initially told Wandsworth Council not to redistribute his personal details to third parties, but he got surprised when he saw them published in, which prompted him to report the data breach to the ICO and his MP.

Investigation showed a malfunction befell one telephone facility that compiles the 2008 edited register. Personal details of those who chose not to enlist in the register were disclosed and the ones belonging to those that opted otherwise were kept undisclosed.

The council pointed to a system glitch in the register that led to the unwanted disclosure of Wandsworth residents’ personal details. Its officials have already issued a public apology, adding that the council took appropriate steps immediately not to let the data breach take place again.

Despite the data breach, ICO has no plans to impose penalty upon the council for its immediate action to address the matter.

Wandsworth Council has also directed the complaint to the website publishing the personal details to remove all information that must not be displayed there.


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