Properties raided and computer systems seized as UK knowledge watchdog launches probe into leak of Matt Hancock CCTV pictures

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Officers from the United Kingdom’s knowledge watchdog have raided two houses and seized computer systems as a part of an investigation right into a leak of CCTV pictures of disgraced former well being secretary Matt Hancock kissing a departmental aide.

The Data Commissioner’s Place of work stated its groups searched two addresses within the south of England on Thursday and took non-public pc apparatus and different digital gadgets.

It follows a criticism by way of EMCOR Team, which gives CCTV services and products for the Division of Well being and Social Care, who’ve alleged that pictures had been taken from the dep.’s CCTV gadget with out consent.

CCTV pictures and photographs of Mr Hancock embracing his aide Gina Coladangelo had been later printed by way of The Solar newspaper on 25 June.

Mr Hancock due to this fact resigned as well being secretary after admitting to breaching the COVID laws he himself had helped design.

Steve Eckersley, the ICO’s director of investigations, stated: “It is important that every one other people, which incorporates the workers of presidency departments and individuals of the general public who have interaction with them, have consider and self belief within the coverage in their non-public knowledge.

“In those cases, the ICO targets to react all of a sudden and successfully to research the place there’s a possibility that people can have unlawfully received non-public knowledge.

“We’ve got an ongoing investigation and is probably not commenting additional till it’s concluded.”

The Division of Well being and Social Care has in the past stated {that a} CCTV digicam in Mr Hancock’s place of business was once put in as a part of renovations in 2017.

On the other hand Mr Hancock, who was well being secretary in 2018, was once no longer made acutely aware of the digicam.

His substitute as well being secretary, Sajid Javid, has since stated the digicam has been disabled by way of the dep..

Mr Hancock’s embody with Ms Coladangelo was once captured on CCTV in Might, at a time when hugging the ones you don’t are living with was once a breach of coronavirus steerage.

In his resignation letter to Top Minister Boris Johnson remaining month, Mr Hancock stated that ministers “owe it to those that have sacrificed such a lot on this pandemic to be fair when we have now allow them to down as I’ve carried out by way of breaching the steerage”.

The ICO investigation right into a leak of CCTV pictures comes because the Division of Well being and Social Care is itself being officially investigated by way of the watchdog over using personal e mail addresses by way of ministers all through the COVID disaster.

The ICO has a variety of powers for the ones discovered to have breached knowledge laws, together with the choice of felony prosecution.

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