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Looking for a council house in Sheffield City? Meet your fellow tenants

BCC email oopsie

By Alexander J Martin, 20 Nov 2015

An e-tempest is brewing in the beautiful northern metropolis of Sheffield after a City Council staffer forgot to BCC locals due to renew their Housing Register status.

It was a mere 10 minutes later, displaying a laudable commitment to remediating the leak, that the council followed up the email seeking "to recall the message Housing Register Renewal **Do not reply to this email**".

Once again, however, this email was not blind carbon copied, in itself perpetuating the very mistake it wished to repair.

No third email was sent, and The Register does not know if the residents have begun emailing each other using the "reply-to-all" function, though our cybermeteorologist contacts have confirmed conditions are ripe for a Cisco-esque e-tempest.

The to: address field of the email revealed a long list of addresses belonging to Sheffield residents who were listed on the city council's housing register, our source revealed.

The register allows people to place bids on rented Council or Housing Association properties, and is operated through a service called Sheffield Property Shop.

The site's privacy policy states: "If you give us information on our website or (for example) in an email, you should consider that information public."

The Register understands the Information Commissioner's Office has not received any complaints about the incident.

A spokesperson from Sheffield City Council said: “Earlier this week, we sent out an email asking people to update their details on the housing register without blind copying email addresses. The email did not include any other personal information. We noticed immediately and recalled the email and alerted data protection officers."

“We are reviewing what happened and will put all measures in place to make sure, as far as possible, that this does not happen again. We are sorry for this mistake and to anyone affected,” they added. ®

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