An IT bug has caused dozens of volunteer park rangers’ personal data, including phone numbers and home addresses, to be compromised.
The mistake was made after a council staff member contacted the volunteers and asked them to submit their hours of availability for the park outreach.
But the staff member was unable to redact the confidential information in the email, which means that the home addresses, as well as the landline and mobile numbers, were sent by accident.
Terry Juffs, who is a Colchester Council Volunteer Ranger and former President of Volunteer Rangers, said he was concerned about the compromise of personal data, adding that he had already received a letter from an anonymous person who simply wrote “I know where you live, friend . ”
He said: “Rangers don’t share their home addresses unless they decide they want to.
“This really isn’t turned on, and it’s a gross misjudgment – there’s no leadership right now because the head ranger has gone on long-term sick leave so they’re flying out of the seat of their pants.
“What’s annoying about this is that I like to keep my home address confidential, to be honest, because I get some strange things through the door.”
As a former attorney, Juffs added that his law career meant certain people would want to intimidate him, adding that he had already received a threatening letter from a person who had obtained his address.
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He said: “I got a letter that said,” I know where you live mate, and you want to be careful. ”
“Now I am 69 years old and I can handle myself, but you don’t know who goes around with a knife.
“I’m not going to take this to the police because I don’t think it was done maliciously, but these actions have consequences,” Juffs added.
When the Gazette contacted the Colchester City Council for comment, a spokesperson said: “We take all matters relating to the security of our residents’ personal data very seriously.
“We want to assure residents that we are conducting an internal investigation to establish the nature of content shared with interested individuals and that appropriate action will be taken.”