Data on Children of UK Armed Forces Personnel Exposed in Breach

The personal data of 4,142 children and families of serving UK armed forces personnel was exposed last year in a data breach at the Ministry of Defence (MoD), one of seven personal data-related incidents reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) during the 2020-2021 reporting year.

The breach, which was revealed in the MoD’s Annual report and accounts 2020-21, related to children attending MoD Schools, and occurred after an email address associated with MoD schools was compromised for a 72-hour period in February 2021.

MoD schools provide education to the children of service personnel and MoD-entitled civilians, contractors and fee payers posted overseas. The facilities are predominantly focused on early years and primary education and are located on military bases in Belgium, Brunei, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy and the Netherlands.

The MoD did not reveal in its report to which schools the incident was linked, nor any further details of the breach, such as how it occurred, whom may have accessed the data, and whether or not anybody actually did.

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