ICO fines MoD £350k for Afghanistan data breach

26/02/2024 | ICO

Originally published on 131223

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been fined £350,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for breaching the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after it inadvertently disclosed the personal information of people seeking relocation to the UK when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 2021. 

The MoD sent an email to a distribution list of Afghan nationals eligible for evacuation, with personal information related to 245 people being disclosed in the 'To' field. The email addresses were visible to all recipients, with 55 people having thumbnail pictures on their email profiles. The team responsible for the UK's Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) sent the email. 

UPDATE: 260224 - The ICO has now published the monetary penalty notice issued to the MOD for breaching the UK GDPR concerning the inadvertent disclosure of personal information of Afghans seeking relocation to the UK.  

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