Data breach findings revealed

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The findings of an independent review into a serious data breach at the Derry offices of a crisis helpline service have been published.

In July of this year, Contact NI, which runs the Lifeline service, confirmed that the identities of up to 20 people who contacted the service were clearly visible on some of the confidential documents that were found strewn in Derry’s city centre.

The papers were blown from the sixth floor of the Embassy Building at Waterloo Place.

The investigation, which was overseen by an independent panel chaired by Oscar Donnelly, Director Mental Health, Northern HSC Trust, has now reported back with its findings.

Contact says all investigation report recommendations have either been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.

Contact Managing Director Fergus Cumiskey said: “This has been a painful and difficult time for Contact staff. We made mistakes and I am extremely sorry this serious breach took place.

“We have, however, worked extremely hard in partnership with the external review panel to ensure such an incident cannot happen again. The independent review was rigorous process, examining every aspect of our work and every recommendation made is being followed to the letter.

“As a result of the changes we have put in place, we believe we emerge as a much stronger business, invigorated for the daily challenges of the important work our crisis counsellors provide, supporting people through tough times of distress and despair.”

See Tuesday’s ‘Journal’ for more.