Personal information of police officers and staff working at the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) published on a public website.
On 8 August 2023, the personal information of 9,483 police officers and staff working at the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was published on a public website following a Freedom of Information request.
This represented a significant data breach that undoubtedly had an enormous impact on those working at the PSNI, in addition to local communities, and public confidence.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Information Assurance lead, and City of London Police T/ Commissioner Peter O'Doherty said:
“The volume of data managed, processed, and stored by policing is vast and continues to increase, both in terms of volume and complexity. Furthermore, policing holds the most sensitive of data and information and so it is essential that all police forces foster a robust and highly committed approach to data and information management and security, and ensure we have the leadership, governance, structures, and systems in place to protect the institution of policing and everyone who is part of it and effected by it.
“Both the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) commissioned an independent review into the data breach of 8 August 2023, which reflected a real commitment in wanting to prevent such an event from ever happening again and ensure that the PSNI improved its ability to protect all data held and used by the organisation.
“I have presented the findings of the report to both the PSNI and the NIPB. This report not only services to highlight how the breach occurred, but also provides 37 clear recommendations that will help the PSNI evolve in its leadership of all data protection, information management, and security.
“It is important to recognise that many of these recommendations will need to be considered by every police force in the UK, so that we collectively work to improve how our data is protected and safeguarded.”