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Swedish Government Admits Huge Data Leak Was A ‘Disaster’

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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Details of defence plans, military personnel and witness protection details exposed during outsourcing project.

The Swedish Government has suffered a “disastrous” data leak, according to the country’s Prime Minister.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven admitted that the massive data leak was caused by one of its own departments during an IT outsourcing procedure in 2015.

Defence plans exposed

Affected data included confidential data about defence plans, military personnel and witness protection details.

data breach, security breaches

The information was visible to Transport Agency workers without security clearance while the data was being transferred to IBM Sweden. There is no suggestion that IBM Sweden was at fault.

In June 2017, the Transport Agency’s former director general Maria Agren, who stood down in January, was fined 70,000 Swedish krona (£6,500).

Work to correct the issue and ensure that only staff with relevant security clearance will have access to the data is expected to be complete in autumn 2017, according to the Transport Agency.

An agency statement explained that Agren had “decided to abstain” from the National Security Act, the Personal Data Act and the Publicity and Privacy Act when overseeing the outsourcing project.

It added: “We have no indications indicating that data was disseminated improperly, so we do not see any direct cause for concern.”

The agency’s new director general, Jonas Bjelfvenstam, said: “I take this seriously and action has been taken.

“Obviously, we as an authority must comply with the laws, regulations and security requirements that apply in our area of ​​activity. We are doing everything we can to avoid such a situation in the future.”

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