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Potential care inquiry documents data breach

News | Published:

A WEBSITE containing documents relating to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has been temporarily shut down because of a potential data protection breach.

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Jersey Archive is in the process of cataloguing the millions of pages of documents – which include witness statements, daily records from care homes and social-services reports. Identifying information from those who wish to remain anonymous will be redacted by archivists.

However, the team working on the archiving project has ‘identified inconsistencies’ in some of the redacted material which could have potentially led to a breach of data protection.

States Greffier Dr Mark Egan, who is the data controller for inquiry information, said: ‘As data controller for the material, I have therefore instructed that the website is taken offline while the information is catalogued and those inconsistencies are rectified.’

He added that he would be reporting the matter to the Information Commissioner and that he had already informed the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Panel, the Children and Housing Minister and the Chief Minister. Dr Egan said: ‘There is no evidence that any actual breach of data protection has occurred. The temporary suspension of the website is a precautionary measure that will enable Jersey Archive to assure the data confidentiality of all published material from the care inquiry.’

The inquiry panel made a number of recommendations to improve child protection services in the Island, one of which included preserving the key documents of the inquiry.

Dr Egan said: ‘Jersey Archive will republish the contents of the website in stages over the next few months. The aim is to complete the cataloguing and republishing of all the material by the end of 2019.’

The project to archive the material received £200,000 funding from the States. Users of the archive can request specific documents from Jersey Archive at archives@jerseyheritage.org.

In the wake of the inquiry report being released last July, then-Chief Minister Ian Gorst made a commitment to implement the inquiry’s eight core findings in full.

This included the appointment of the Island’s first Children’s Commissioner, Deborah McMillan, who took over the post in January.

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