MORE than 6,500 people's personal data has been leaked online following a blunder by Chelmsford City Council.

The council said it has informed those affected by the breach, which leaked names, addresses and some national insurance numbers.

The breach took place between November 14 and December 14.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said it would not take any action against the authority, and Chelmsford City Council has offered an unreserved apology to those affected.

Databases full of information from 6,771 customers through online forms had been uploaded and became accessible by the public.

However, the council has stated that no bank details were held on the website and there had been no sign of fraud as a result of the situation.

Anthony McQuiggan, cabinet member for corporate services and information technology, said: "We take the protection of personal information seriously, and we have acted with immediate effect to address the website error.

"Since we cannot be sure if the records of these individuals have been viewed, we have reported this issue to the ICO, taken immediate actions to secure our databases, and contacted customers proactively to notify them of the issue. No financial data has been compromised.

"We are very sorry that this situation has arisen and apologise for any distress or inconvenience that this may have caused to those individuals affected."