A residential factoring company in Aberdeen has apologised after it accidentally attached the names and addresses of 180 homeowners to a group e-mail about dog fouling.
The personal details about locals in the Countesswells area were sent by James Gibb Residential Factors to residents in Westhill, which the firm also looks after.
The e-mail was regarding concerns about mess left by dogs in a development in Westhill on Tuesday, September 13.
However, attached to this was a document titled “Dog Fouling”, which had the names, addresses and account reference numbers of people in the following areas:
- Beckram Close
- Beckram Terrace
- Countesswells Avenue
- Countesswells Close
- Hazeldene Manor
- John Porter Place
- John Porter Wynd
- Pinewood Crescent
- Pinewood Gardens
- Pinewood Walk
A resident who received the email told the P&J: “The e-mail about dog fouling was about the development that I currently live in.
“So that document they’ve attached didn’t have anything to do with my development. It’s a total mess up on their part.”
A follow-up e-mail from James Gibb Residential Factors that was sent to people who had received the original one, confirmed the data breach, which they said was due to an “error” from a member of staff.
The firm stressed it “sincerely apologised” to those affected by the data breach.
The second e-mail added: “We have notified the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the clients whose details were included in the Excel spreadsheet.”
They also confirmed that staff will “undergo further training” to ensure a breach like this does not happen again.
‘Feel a bit less secure in my home’
The resident told the Press & Journal she is “relieved” her name was not on this list, adding: “If it was, I’d probably feel a bit less secure in my home because you just don’t know who’s reading that list and if that leaks out, what else could potentially leak out?
“I would be pretty unhappy if my name and address did get leaked out to whoever else within the developments.
“Part of me feels sorry for the person who’s going to be hauled over the the coals for it. But as for these mistakes, there is no room for error when it comes to things like that.”
James Gibb Residential Factors, which also has offices in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, has been approached for comment.