The email addresses of hundreds of Afghan interpreters who worked with British forces, including some who are hiding from the Taliban in the war-torn country, have been shared in a data breach by the British Ministry of Defence.
The United Kingdom’s government has launched an investigation into the breach, which saw more than 250 people copied into an email by the Ministry of Defence pledging assistance with their relocation to the UK, making their details visible to all recipients, the UK broadcaster reported on Tuesday.
One interpreter contacted by the ministry told the broadcaster the mistake “could cost the life of interpreters, especially for those who are still in Afghanistan”.
“Some of the interpreters didn’t notice the mistake and they replied to all the emails already and they explained their situation which is very dangerous,” the interpreter said.
Some of the addresses showed individuals’ names and associated profile pictures.
The ministry’s email reportedly told the interpreters it was doing everything it could to help them reach the UK, but warned they should not risk leaving their current location if it was unsafe to do so.
The department reportedly sent another message 30 minutes later advising the recipients to change their email addresses following the error.