Massive data breach at London Marathon reveals 38,000 runners' details

Massive data breach at London Marathon reveals 38,000 runners' details

Massive data breach at London Marathon reveals 38,000 runners' details

IT | Kirsty Weakley | 25 Apr 2012

The Information Commissioners Office is investigating a possible data breach of the London Marathon website which made at least 18,000 charity fundraiser’s contact details publicly available.

The home address and email address of all 38,000 runners were available on the event’s website on Monday 23 April, the day after the race. The organisers were only made aware of the breach when contacted by the BBC, which had found out about the breach when one of its presenters was contacted by a fan.

More than half of the people participating in the race do so on behalf of a charity through the London Marathon’s gold and silver bond scheme for charity places.  

The Information Commissioner’s Office issued a statement yesterday that said: “We’re aware of a possible data breach involving the website of the organisers of the London Marathon. We will be investigating this, before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken.”

Nick Bitel, chief executive of the London Marathon, apologised for the error and said: “We immediately made sure the glitch was corrected. We do not believe that this has led to a substantial number of individuals’ details being accessed by members of the public."

Following the investigation the regulator could impose a fine of up to £50,000 for serious data breaches.

London Marathon Ltd donates any surplus income from sponsorship, marketing, advertising and entry fees to the London Marathon Charitable Trust. Last year the Trust awarded a total of £5.3m in grants to almost 60 projects in London to refurbish sports facilities.

2013 planning already underway

The public ballot to apply for the 2013 London Marathon will open on 30 April and some charities including Marie Curie Cancer Care and Action for Children are already encouraging people to apply on their websites.

Age UK and YouthNet were also today announced as the joint official partner for the 2013 London Marathon which is backing a digital inclusion service through which the charities will bring young people and older people together to share experiences of the internet.

The charities aim to recruit 600 runners and raise £1m to fund a national project. More information on the project is available at



[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear


  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.


BBC to air documentary about the final days at Kids Company

9 Oct 2015

BBC One has commissioned a documentary with the working title 'The rise and fall of the Angel of Peckham’...

Commission consults on allowing charities to file digital accounts

9 Oct 2015

The Charity Commission has launched a consultation on a process which will allow charities to submit accounts...

Finance directors must work on being ‘leaders not bean-counters’, Charity Finance Summit hears

9 Oct 2015

Finance directors must make their role as much about leadership and communication as managing money, the...

PayPal Giving Fund announces partnership worth over £1m a year to UK charities

7 Oct 2015

PayPal Giving Fund has announced that it has opened a new fundraising platform with digital storefront...

Partnership between Sky and World Wildlife Fund ends after raising over £9m

6 Oct 2015

A partnership between World Wildlife Fund and Sky has ended after raising over £9m since 2009, with the...

Richard Hawkes takes newly-created role at British Asian Trust

5 Oct 2015

Richard Hawkes, former chief executive of Scope, has landed a new job as chief executive of the British...

Charity leaders call for flexibility over three days paid volunteering leave

9 Oct 2015

Charlotte Hill, chief executive of Step Up to Serve, and Julie Bentley, chief executive of Girlguiding...

Médecins Sans Frontières reiterates calls for independent inquiry after Obama apologises for attack

9 Oct 2015

The international president of Médecins Sans Frontières has called on the US government to agree to...

Alison Hopkinson to replace Bob Humphreys as FD of Oxfam

8 Oct 2015

Alison Hopkinson, currently the finance and IT director at Tearfund, will replace Bob Humphreys as the...