AIMS accuses FSA of data breach

AIMS accuses FSA of data breach

The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) has raised a complaint with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) over an alleged data breach, involving the disclosure of several members’ business and personal email addresses.

“This is the second time that we are aware that the FSA have committed a data breach in the last 12 months,” said AIMS spokesperson Tony Goodger. “Earlier this year, they sent details in relation to AIMS and some of their staff members to a journalist without the prior knowledge or consent of the individuals concerned. This included what we suggest could be defamatory comments in relation to the staff members involved.

“On that occasion the FSA informed us that it did not feel it necessary to inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and despite correspondence between AIMS, AIMS’s solicitors and the FSA, today we are still unsure as to the nature of the comments made.”

Goodger said AIMS was concerned that “once again the FSA appear not to have taken due care with information they hold, this time in relation to food business operators.”

He added: “We urge them to come clean with all businesses affected and inform them of what action they have taken and whether they have reported the breach to the ICO.”

AIMS received a direct message from the FSA on Twitter, Goodger said, stating that an investigation was underway.

An FSA spokesperson told Meat Management: “We were made aware of a data breach on 20th October 2021 and would like to reassure those involved that we are following the necessary processes so that the matter is handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR. We are also carrying out a full and thorough investigation to learn from this so that similar issues do not arise in future.”

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