Council accidentally shares 15,000 staff salaries online

The local authority mistakenly published personal employee details in response to a Freedom of Information Request.

South Lanarkshire Council accidentally shares 15,000 staff salaries on WhatDoTheyKnow website iStock

A Scottish local authority has accidentally leaked the personal details of 15,000 employees, including their salaries.

South Lanarkshire Council mistakenly published the information online after it responded to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

The request asked for the details of staff pay grades but when the local authority shared a spreadsheet containing the information it did not anonymise employee data.

The data breach reportedly revealed information such as workers’ names, National Insurance Numbers, salaries and workplaces.

Information such as bank details, dates of birth and addresses are thought not to have been disclosed.

The local authority said it believes the information was not accessed by anyone.

A spokesman for South Lanarkshire Council said: “A spreadsheet containing anonymised employee data was uploaded to a website in response to a Freedom of Information request.

“Unfortunately as a result of human error, the spreadsheet contained a second page of personal data that had not been anonymised. The error was noticed by the council and we arranged for that data to be removed.

“To the best of our knowledge the information was not accessed, and we believe the data could not be used in a way that would be harmful to those involved.

“However, I can confirm that we are contacting those affected by the error and we have reported the breach to the Information Commissioner.”