Accidentally pulled cloth off pivot table in Grenfell Tower FoI
A London borough has been slapped with a £120,000 fine from the data protection watchdog after unlawfully identifying 943 owners of vacant property in a Freedom of Information (FoI) response.
The Information Commissioner fined the the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for breaching the Data Protection Act, after it accidentally divulged the information in a request related to the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.
At least 70 people died when Grenfell Tower – a 27-storey public housing block in the wealthy London suburb of North Kensington – caught fire in June 2017.
After the incident, some media outlets provided social commentary on the inequality between owners in the borough who could afford to leave their properties empty, and the residents of the public housing complex who lived in relative poverty.
On 30 June 2017, the council received three separate requests for information on the number of vacant properties from journalists with links to a national daily newspaper.