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Serco apologies for sharing 296 email addresses of newly recruited contact tracers

SCANDAL-HIT government contractor Serco has apologised after accidentally sharing almost 300 personal email addresses of newly recruited contact tracers.

The company has been tasked with recruiting, training and managing thousands of contact tracers to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

But it emerged today that Serco had compromised 296 of its new employees by openly rather than blind-copying their addresses in a group email, making them visible to all recipients.

Serco was quick to apologise for the error but said it would not notify the Information Commissioner’s Office.

“We have apologised and reviewed our processes to make sure that this does not happen again,” a spokesperson said.

Some 21,000 contact tracers have now been hired by private contractors to identify and alert those who have recently been in contact with an infected person.

However, the decision to give such work to Serco has been widely criticised since it was revealed last month.

Last year the company was fined £23 million by the Serious Fraud Office after it emerged that Serco had charged the government for electronically monitoring people who were either dead or in jail.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth wrote to his Tory counterpart Matt Hancock today to raise questions about the government’s approach to tracking and tracing.

He asked for the release of plans on increasing the uptake of the contact-tracing app and on dispelling concerns around data privacy.


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