The British military ministry has apologized for unintentionally disclosing the email addresses of over 250 Afghan interpreters hoping to relocate to the United Kingdom.
The error came as the UK admitted that hundreds of Afghans eligible for migration had been left behind in the hasty evacuation following the Taliban takeover.
According to the BBC, an email sent by a defence ministry team pledging relocation assistance accidentally copied in the addresses of over 250 persons, making them apparent to all receivers.
Many of the addresses had images as well.
After 30 minutes, the ministry allegedly sent another message asking recipients to alter their email addresses.
The error, according to an interpreter, “may endanger the lives of interpreters, especially those who are still in Afghanistan.”
An investigation into a “data breach of information from the Afghan Relocations Assistance Policy team” was initiated late Monday, according to a defense ministry official.
“We apologize to everyone who has been affected by this breach and are working hard to guarantee that it does not happen again,” the representative said.
Conservative MP and former veterans minister Johnny Mercer expressed his displeasure at the data breach, calling it a “criminally negligent performance.”
The Times newspaper reported in August that it had discovered contact information for workers and job candidates left behind at the British embassy compound in Kabul, putting them in danger.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed earlier this month that 311 people, including interpreters, were left behind who were qualified under the UK’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.
He assured parliament, “We will do everything we can to guarantee that those folks get the safe journey that they deserve.”
Following the Taliban’s capture of Kabul, the UK flew almost 15,000 individuals from Afghanistan, including both UK citizens and Afghan friends.