1,800 people, including politicians, affected by Chamber of Commerce leak
Due to a mistake by the Chamber of Commerce (KvK), private addresses of 1,800 directors of various organizations were leaked to a former lawyer. The agency asked the victims to report if there are unusual activities around their home, said a letter that is circulating on social media and which RTL Nieuws reported about earlier.
According to the news channel, this includes the data of parliamentarians from D66, GroenLinks, and BIJ1. A spokesperson for BIJ1 confirmed that party leader Sylvana Simons received a letter from the KvK, stating that her data had been leaked. The parties asked parliamentary questions about how the information could have leaked.
A spokeswoman for the KvK confirmed that these are the addresses of "a wide range" of politicians and administrators of social organizations. Private addresses of directors and other officers in the Trade Register are not public. However, the judiciary, lawyers, civil law notaries or bailiffs can request this information with special permission. The KvK explained that the former lawyer had requested the data after he had de-registered as a lawyer, and therefore was not allowed to.
The permission to request private addresses was withdrawn for the former lawyer in question. He notified the KvK in writing that all data had been destroyed, but the authority indicated that it has no further options for checking this. A report was made to the Dutch Data Protection Authority. The regulator does not yet know whether it will investigate the matter.
"You trust the KvK with your data and that is apparently not justified," said chairman of the National Student Union (LSVb) Ama Boahene, who called it "very annoying" that data is apparently so poorly protected. Her private data, as well as those of other current and former board members, also ended up with the former lawyer. Boahene wondered how certain it was that the former lawyer destroyed the data and how the KvK will prevent this in the future.
After this blunder, the KvK discovered that more de-registered former lawyers still had authorization to request private addresses. This concerned a total of 164 former lawyers. In 92 cases, the permission to request addresses was also used after de-registration. The KvK is investigating whether this was done by the lawyers themselves or by the offices for which they worked.
Reporting by ANP