You are here

Gambling companies illegally accessed 28m children’s personal data

20 January, 2020

Gambling companies were able to access the personal data of more than 28m children and young people following a major breach of a Department for Education database.

An investigation carried out by The Sunday Times found that the Learning Records Service – which exists strictly for educational purposes – had been used by several gambling firms to verify the ages of customers.

This has led to more young people being allowed to gamble on online platforms.

One unnamed gambling company saw the number of young users soar 15 per cent after receiving data taken from the database.

The identity management company GB Group has allegedly been using the data from the Learning Records Service to supply companies such as Betfair and 32Red with information about their customers.

GB Group told The Sunday Times: “We can confirm that we use the Learning Records Service dataset via a third party.

“We take claims of this nature very seriously and, depending on the results of our review, we will take appropriate action.”

Although the database can no longer be accessed by gambling companies, the incident is reportedly one of the largest breaches of UK government data ever.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has promised an investigation which will leave “no stone unturned”.

The free Know the Stakes resource pack – developed by Parent Zone in cooperation with GambleAware – contains advice for both families and professionals so they can support young people to stay in control of their finances and understand the risks of gambling.

You can also download the free Gaming or Gambling resource pack designed to help families learn about the gambling-like risks children may face in online games – and simple, practical ways to keep gaming fun and make it safer.