20 Oct 2015

Advocates upset at abuse inquiry data loss

8:54 pm on 20 October 2015

Child sex abuse survivors in Britain are calling for an investigation after discovering some testimonies may have been deleted due to a technical error.

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Information submitted to the inquiry's website may have been lost forever due to a technical error. Photo: AFP

New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard is leading the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Britain.

It was [set up in http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/249217/claims-of-westminster-paedophile-ring July 2014] to consider whether public bodies and other institutions failed in their duty to protect children.

Claims of paedophiles in Westminster in the 1980s sparked the inquiry and cases under investigation could date back to the 1970s.

Justice Goddard

Lowell Goddard Photo: SUPPLIED

But the inquiry's website has said information victims submitted between 14 September and 2 October was deleted before it reached the investigation's engagement team.

"Due to a change in our website address to www.iicsa.org.uk on 14 September, any information submitted to the inquiry between 14 September and 2 October through the online form on the 'Share your experience' page of our website, was instantly and permanently deleted before it reached our engagement team," it said.

"We are very sorry for any inconvenience or distress this will cause and would like to reassure you that no information was put at risk of disclosure or unauthorised access.

"Due to the security measures on our website, your information cannot be found or viewed by anyone else as it was immediately and permanently destroyed."

Survivor support and campaign group WhiteFlowers Campaign is now calling for an immediate investigation into the error, Newsweek reported.

The group has set up an online petition demanding that Justice Goddard be held to account for the loss of survivors' evidence.

It said the inquiry should do more to make sure information on victims is secure.