Fans' data deemed safe after reported World Cup breach

Information Commissioner completes investigation

UK football fans are in the clear after a World Cup football ticket data breach scare broke last year.

Following reports in Norway that the UK could be a source of a leaked database of personal details on 250,000 football fans, the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) investigated.

It was reported the database contained details of those fans internationally who had purchased tickets for football matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

The database was believed to have been unlawfully sold on the black market, following allegations made in the Norwegian newspaper "Dagbladet". The newspaper alleged that personal information, including the passport details of 35,689 ticket purchasers from the UK, were included on a database that had been sold to an organisation in Norway.

Dagbladet reported that an individual employed by a company based in Manchester, which the newspaper described as "FIFA's official ticket provider", had offered to sell ticket lists.

But the ICO investigation started last September has found no ticket purchasers in the UK have been affected by any wrongdoing.

Mick Gorrill, head of enforcement at the ICO, said, "Our investigation has found that the ticketing database was created by a company in Germany working on behalf of the German Football Association and the FIFA World Cup Organising Committee in Germany."

He said, "We have concluded that there is no evidence to suggest that any person has unlawfully obtained personal information within the UK, or that any person or organisation has breached UK data protection laws."

The ICO said it "had no reason to believe that the passport details of ticket purchasers from the UK are at risk".

Meanwhile, the ICO has said it may open a criminal investigation into a report that Yorkshire police forces, health organisations and local authorities have allowed staff to snoop on the public by accessing confidential personal information.

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