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The danger of disclosing sensitive information with spreadsheets

Posted on 16 August 2023

Senior Data Protection Specialist Jon Baines was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss the recent data leaks made by Norfolk and Suffolk police. The data leaks, which were announced on Tuesday, were likely a result of storing data on spreadsheets and were shared when responding to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

"This is an issue that has been around for a while, the inadvertent disclosure of certain information in spreadsheets, often in response to FOI requests," Jon warned.

"Spreadsheets are powerful pieces of software. They can hide lots of information in them which isn't immediately obvious… When you're publishing or disclosing a spreadsheet of information, make very sure that you know what's in it."

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