Tens of thousands of primary school pupils’ may have had their personal information stolen in the Capita data breach.
The breach, which occurred from a cyber-attack, is set to be one of the largest data breaches in UK history with over 100 organisations already reporting being affected. The Department for Education is one of the latest that has announced it may have been impacted.
According to Schools Week, the records of around 30,000 primary school pupils under the STA (Standards and Testing Agency) are “believed to have been infiltrated”.
In its report to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), the Department of Education said this included “pupil names, dates of birth, pupil IDs, test types, and school reference numbers, in additional (sic) to other non-identifiable management data”.
It did not contain “any addresses for the pupils or contact details or names of schools, exam results; or any special category personal data or any financial information.
“Whilst name and date of birth are unlikely to present a high risk, should the information be made public for sale, it is likely to cause distress.
“The added inclusion of a school identifier may increase the likelihood of identification, but is unlikely to present a greater risk to the data subjects unless there is a safeguarding issue potentially.”
Capita has estimated that the data breach could cost up to £20 million. However, a spokesperson said it had “found no evidence of any information in circulation, on the dark web or otherwise, resulting from the cyber incident”.
Jen Persson, the director of the campaign group DefendDigitalMe, said children’s names and dates of birth was “critical identity data. These children and related family members are potentially compromised forever.
“If it’s not (yet) been put up for sale, it also begs the question who or what organisation might want children’s identities for what reasons.”
An ICO spokesperson said it was “making enquiries” into the incident.
The Department for Education has not confirmed if they have yet communicated with pupils or their families.
If you have been affected by the Capita data breach you are entitled to submit a claim for compensation. Click the button below to find out how. Please note that we cannot accept claims on behalf of minors at this time.