The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has taken action against The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) – its parent organisation after the discovery of a security flaw on CEOP’S website, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said today.
On 6 April, the ICO received a complaint from an individual who noticed that the information submitted using the online form on the CEOP website was not encrypted. The security problem meant that the details – some of which were sensitive – would have been vulnerable while they were being transmitted to CEOP’s servers.
The ICO’s investigation found that the form had been insecure for several months following the launch of the new CEOP website, although there was no evidence to suggest that any attempts had been made to access the information. Both organisations have now taken action to improve the security of the CEOP website in order to keep the personal information they handle secure.
Acting Head of Enforcement, Sally Anne Poole said:
“Organisations must make sure that any personal data transmitted electronically is adequately protected. While there is no evidence to suggest that attempts have been made to access any of the information, it is highly likely that it would have been sensitive in nature and should not have been compromised by insufficient IT security measures.
“We are pleased that CEOP and SOCA have taken action to make sure that all of the information sent in by members of the public remains secure.”
Peter Davies, Chief Executive Officer of CEOP, and Trevor Pearce QPM, Director General of SOCA, have jointly signed an undertaking to ensure that CEOP’s website is regularly tested so that the personal data they process remains secure and potential weaknesses are immediately identified. CEOP will also introduce recommendations included in a recent Information Security Review and continue to make sure that they are followed.