A survivor of sexual abuse has described her distress that her personal details could have been made public online.
Sky News can reveal that a data breach at the London Mayor’s Office affecting “around 400 people” is currently under investigation.
It involves complaints about policing in the capital being made wrongly accessible via an official website.
“It’s chilling to think what might have happened and an appalling situation,” said the woman who wished to remain anonymous told Sky News.
“I’ve still not been given the answers I need.”
The inquiry centres on the London Mayor’s Office online forms that were hosted by the Greater London Authority’s website.
A spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime confirmed the data was accessible for a four-month period.
The spokesperson told Sky News: “A manual error made it technically possible for visitors to temporarily access the content submitted on the two online forms between November 2022 and February 2023.
“There is no evidence that any of this information was accessed by anyone with malicious intent or that it has been misused.”
The survivor of sexual assault who received notification of her involvement this week told Sky News she was horrified by the situation.
“I was told to phone up their helpline, but the conversation has left me with more questions than answers.
“All they could tell me is that people could click a button on their website to view the content of submissions made by other people – including me.
“When I asked them to tell me precisely what information has been available, they said they’d look into it and let me know.”
“It’s not good enough, I don’t even live in London.”
She added: “I’m half mystified and partially terrified.”
“It really worries me there are so many malicious people online and it’s left me feeling really exposed.”
A spokesperson for the Greater London Authority (GLA) said: “A full and thorough investigation has taken place following the identification of a data security issue.
“The GLA sincerely regret any concern this incident may cause and want to reassure all members of the public that the GLA website www.London.gov.uk is secure and that the GLA and MOPAC take the protection of all personal data extremely seriously.”
A spokesperson for London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Clearly this incident should never have happened, which is why a full and thorough investigation was launched, supported by independent experts.
“City Hall is offering support to anyone who may have been impacted and is doing everything it can to ensure that this issue, which was caused by a manual error, cannot happen again.”
The Information Commissioner’s Office confirmed to Sky News they are currently looking at the incident.