Government study exposes respondents’ views on porn

 

The Government has been forced to suspend an online consultation into pornography controls after a security breach exposed respondents’ confidential answers and contact details.

The Department for Education was forced to take the Parental Internet Controls consultation down hurriedly and investigate after members of the public complained today.

The questionnaire, which dealt with views about controls on explicit material on the internet and cyberbullying, was posted on Thursday and was due to remain open to the public for 10 weeks. 

A spokesman for the department said that after they were made aware of the problem in the morning following complaints.

The matter was also reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office which will investigate whether there has been a breach of the Data Protection Act.

 The spokesman said technicians were working to get the site up and running again “as soon as possible” and “will take all the necessary steps to correct the problem”.

The security flaw became apparent after respondents had completed the form and clicked on the tab to view their answers. Some were presented with responses from another user complete with full name and contact email addresses.

The consultation document said: “The Prime Minister spoke recently about the possibility that internet services or devices might come with a filter on as their default setting, and said that the Government should investigate that option and seek views on it.”

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