Tuesday, 21 August 2012

#QuackCWaC Council Data Breach [Updated 23/08/12]

UPDATE 23rd August 2012: A further email was sent to the recipients of the emails below asking them to delete it. Full story below original post.

From: PLANNING [mailto:Planning@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk] 
Sent: 21 August 2012 14:46
To: [See below]
Subject: Planning application consultation - 12/03447/OUT
The above email, together with an attachment, was sent to some 260 people who commented on the previous withdrawn application by #QuackCWaC Council Planning. I have removed the 260 private email addresses which CWaC wrongly disclosed to everyone else on the list. Attachment below.

Realising their cock-up and in an attempt at damage limitation the following email was sent out just under 3 hours later.
From: PLANNING [mailto:Planning@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk]
Sent: 21 August 2012 17:38
Subject: RE: Planning application consultation - 12/03447/OUT 
Please accept our apologies for the error on the email sent to you. Our standard procedure is to use the Bcc (blind carbon copy) email tool but due to an administrative error this did not happen on this occasion.
Kind regards Development Management
An administrative error that led to a serious data breach. Now 260 people know the private email addresses of the other 259 people who were also sent the email. I just hope many of them will be complaining to the Information Commissioner. Here is a helpful link.

Attachment to the initial email

Dear Sir/Madam

Town and Country Planning Act 1990
Proposal: To erect a student village including accommodation for up to 2,300 students, recreational open space, a combined student hub/sporting facility (comprising cafe/bar, kitchen, student services, launderette, fitness areas, treatment/consulting rooms and changing areas), full sized football pitch, four mini-sports pitches, construction of a new access from Parkgate Road, an emergency vehicular access link off Milton Road, internal access routes, ground modelling and drainage works, parking provision for up to 400 cars, footpaths, cycle routes, Energy Centre, Refuge and Recycling facilities, sub stations and associated works including access (OUTLINE APPLICATION)
Location: Land Between Parkgate Road And, Shelley Road, Chester, Cheshire, 
Cheshire West and Chester Council have received a planning application in respect of the above development. The Planning Officer dealing with the application is named above.

You are invited to inspect the deposited plans and make comments on line via our website at www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/planningapplications or screens are available to view in the Customer Service Centres, at The Forum, Chester, CH1 2HS, Wyvern House, Winsford, CW7 1AH and Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE, between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Please contact Pauline English on 0151 339 1405 if you wish to view the paper copies of the documents available online.

Please make any comments on the application no later than 11 September 2012. Alternatively you can comment in writing to the Planning Office, address above, quoting 12/03447/OUT. Please note that under the Access to Information Act 1985 the contents of any letter you submit will be available for public inspection and may be copied on request.

An acknowledgement letter will be sent out to you on receipt of your comments and the contents will be taken into consideration when the Planning Officer determines the application. Unfortunately, a detailed response cannot be given because of the tight timescales in which a decision must be reached.

If you are not the owner of the property, you should forward a copy of this letter to the owner.

Yours faithfully

Mr Mark Lynch
Area Planning Manager - South and West

UPDATE 23rd August 2012: A further email was sent to the recipients of the emails above asking them to delete it.
From: GREGORY, Angela [mailto:Angela.Gregory@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk]
Sent: 23 August 2012
Subject: Email regarding Planning Consultation 12/03447/OUT
Importance: High 
Dear Sir/Madam
You were sent an email from Cheshire West and Chester Planning on Thursday 23 August 2012 at [time removed by me], please could I ask you to delete the email as soon as possible.  I have attached the Neighbour Notification letter again for your reference. 
Yours faithfully
Angela Gregory, Senior Plan Processing Officer
Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council


  1. Ah... the trusty "administrative error"...

  2. I think it's a #QuackCWaC way of politely saying we f*cked up ....... AGAIN ..... but not one in which we can use the 'computer error' excuse.


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