Another government agency apologises for privacy breach

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Another government agency has apologised for another privacy breach.

The Ministry for the Environment has been forced to say sorry after sending around 150 people each other's private email address.

Christchurch man, Dirk, said he first received an email from the ministry yesterday after making a submission on the ministry website.

He said in a generic response to submitters, all of the email addresses were there to see in the public cc list

"So instead of using a blind carbon copy, which is the bcc, they just did it wide open. And then later on I received an email about an hour later saying 'Oops, shouldn't have sent that' but it still had all the email addresses."

Dirk said he then received a further email apologising for the earlier mistake and asking for it to be destroyed.

Newstalk ZB's Scarlett Cvitanovich said: "The apology says 'Further to the email you received today regarding the deadline for submissions on the resource management reforms, please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused by sending the reminder showing people's email addresses in the cc box, rather than the bcc box'.

"It asks recipients to please destroy the earlier email and says a replacement will follow shortly."

Dirk said he even recognised a friend's name in the email list.

"It's a clear privacy breach and if I end up getting spammed I'm going to have to change my email address and that's going to be a big pain."

- Newstalk ZB

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