Government makes CC/BCC e-mail blunder

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who are responsible for data protection laws, have made an “IT 101” basic blunder when sending an email out to 300 recipients.

In the embarrassing incident, the department have sent the email with the 300 contacts in the CC field, rather than the BCC field. The CC field will show all recipients who is on the email chain, whereas BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) will hide that information.

Digital Minister Margot James said “It was an error and we’re evaluating at the moment whether that was a breach of data protection law.”

A DCMS Spokesperson said: “In sending a news release to journalists an administrative, human error meant email addresses could be seen by others. DCMS takes data privacy extremely seriously and we apologise to those affected.”

This isn’t the first time the DCMS have been in hot water over data protection rules. During their recently launched Windrush compensation scheme, they inadvertently shared the contact details of migrants in an email about the scheme. Five batches of emails, each with 100 recipients, were sent out.

In that case, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes apologised for what she put down as an “administrative error”, rather than lack of staff training or incompetence.