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ICO probes BBC after Panorama loses secret army data

The BBC is under investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after a Panorama researcher is said to have leaked confidential material.

According to a UK newspaper, secret information about a British Army unit has been potentially compromised during an enquiry for the state broadcaster’s investigative documentary series into the Military Reaction Force (MRF).

A production team was reportedly researching whether unarmed civilians had been shot by the MRF.

The data has been said to have found on a mislaid USB stick which also contained information about a Panorama investigation into Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman, plus names and personal details of senior military figures.

It is claimed content on the device was downloaded from an online cloud-based storage service and then handed on to an as yet unnamed third party.

The incident is reportedly being treated as a potential criminal offence under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act (DPA).

“We are aware of a possible data breach at Films of Record [company responsible for Tower Hamlets Panorama].

“We are making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach of the DPA before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken,” the ICO told The Register.

Initially the mishandled data was believed to be only related to Panorama investigation into London borough Tower Hamlets and alleged questionable practice at the council.

However, it soon emerged that information relating to the MRF had been lost as well.

The ICO is also currently investigating Facebook after an experiment that manipulated users’ emotions.