A family checks office that leaks the personal data of its affiliates is unbelievable. This is instead the case of France. Indeed, the CAF of the Gironde communicated, according to information from the investigative cell of Radio France.
“Confidential information concerning more than 10,000 recipients to one of its service providers responsible for training its agents who simply put it online, believing it to be fictitious,” say the French media. At the origin of this leak, the training of agents, in particular its statisticians, to whom the cif de Gironde communicated a file containing the personal data of 10,204 recipients, in fact.
These are surnames, first names as well as postal codes, addresses, dates of birth, family composition and income, amounts and types of benefits received (AASR, APL, disabled adult allowance, etc.). It’s not all. The dates of birth of the children and the existence of joint custody were also mentioned in the file. Just over 181 data per beneficiary have been revealed, specifies France info, which reports the data this Thursday.
This data, which was intended to be restricted to CAF agents only, was accessible to ordinary Internet users via the web with a simple click on a “CAF.zip”. “This data should never have been put online by the service provider,” reacted the press service of the Caisse Nationale des Family allowances (CAF), specifying that the service provider in question “had received the file as part of a very limited training with personnel subject to professional secrecy. In other words, for strictly internal use”.
For lawyers, this is simply unacceptable. “In this type of situation, the sanctions can be of three types: administrative, civil and even criminal. It must be said that the damage may be relevant for the recipients. With so much data available online, the greatest risk is identity theft,” explains lawyer Bastien Le Querrec. For this reason, the Gironde CAF, which will inform the 10,204 beneficiaries concerned of these leaks, has opened an internal investigation to “understand how this situation could have occurred and set up a closer monitoring system”.