COLCHESTER Council has said it has written to all residents and customers affected by a data breach related to personal data storage by its supplier Capita.

Capita, which is entrusted with providing the council’s end-of-year auditing services for council tax and benefits, reported a security issue last month where the personal data of some of Colchester's customers leaked.

The information, from the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years, was found on an unsecured Amazon Data Bucket.

The historical data compromised records of names, addresses, benefits account references and the names of benefits received.

However, the council said this does not contain any bank details.

Capita has since acted to secure the data and also confirmed there is no current evidence of persons accessing the data for malicious purposes.

The council has reported the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK's data protection regulator, and promised to implement their recommended measures.

In the letter, the council’s Data Protection Officer expressed “extreme disappoint” at Capita’s failure to maintain the high-security standards it expects of its suppliers.

It added: “We continue to work with them to ensure future data entrusted to Capita is held securely and would like to apologise unreservedly for the incident.”