One thing about being a celebrity is you need some privacy while at home. It’s all very well having people cheering and crowding you for autographs when in the public eye, but you do need some privacy. The UK government just took away the privacy of more than 1,000 people on the New Year Honours List by publishing their addresses on its website.

Reportedly the file, with details relating to celebrities, sportsmen, politicians and senior police officers, was accidentally uploaded on Friday evening and stayed there until it was removed on Saturday.

UK Government is looking into the matter

According to the BBC, the UK Cabinet Office told them the matter was being “looked into” in an effort to find out how this could have happened. Meanwhile, the Big Brother Watch privacy campaign group has called this “accidental” upload “farcical and inexcusable.”

Director Silkie Carlo said it was “extremely worrying” to find out the UK government has not even a basic idea of data protection. Carlo went on to say the people on the honours list have now been put at risk through the government’s actions.

Carlo went on to say that it is even more “farcical” considering the new Data Protection Act was passed by the UK government just last year and that the government clearly cannot work by its own rules.

The list held a total of 1,097 names and address details of people from all walks of life, including singer Elton John, actress Olivia Newton-John, a TV cook Nadiya Hussain, politician Iain Duncan Smith, the former boss of Ofcom, Sharon White and famous cricketer Ben Stokes. Alison Saunders, the former boss of public prosecutions, was on there too.

The New Year Honours List recognizes the contributions and societal achievements of its honorees, including bestowing knighthood on some. For example, Elton John will receive the “Companion of Honour” award, while Olivia Newton-John has achieved damehood.

UK government removed the information as soon as possible

The NBC quotes a government spokesman as saying the list of New Year Honours List 2020 was published in error and that the information was removed from its website as soon as possible.

The statement continued by saying the matter has been reported to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office). Those affected are being contacted directly about the error and the ICO will be “making enquiries.” That organization has the power to fine those responsible for data breaches.

Honours list dishonored

Another scandal relating to the New Year Honours List 2020 is the fact that former Conservative Party leader George Iain Duncan Smith is being honored.

Many have complained on Twitter that this "dishonours the Honours List" as Smith was the original architect of universal credit, which caused thousands of families to struggle to buy food and pay their monthly bills, leaving their children hungry, while said politician receives a knighthood.

Angela Rayner, another Twitter user, wrote that she could remember watching Smith laugh in the Chamber "as he passed welfare cuts to the most vulnerable."