The mishandling of private information by Mermaids, a UK charity concerned with promoting the medical sterilization of gender-nonconforming children, was reported today in a scathing expose by Andrew Gilligan of The Sunday Times. Among other things, the piece alleges that hundreds of private messages containing names, intimate details, and contact information of children and families interacting with the charity were published in plain site on a forum accessible by a rudimentary google search. [full text without paywall here]
The Sunday Times discovered the forum simply by googling ‘Mermaids’ and their charity number. You can see that this is clearly true by replicating the search yourself, as I did here. Although the forum has now been deleted many of the results remain public in google cache.
Mermaids posted a response from their board of trustees on their website claiming that “The scope of the breach was that internal Mermaids emails from 2016 and 2017 in a private user group were available on the internet, if certain precise search-terms were used. Mermaids understand that the information could not be found unless the person searching for the information was already aware that the information could be found.” [bolding by me.] They also claimed that no private children and family data was involved, and they framed the discovery of the forum as a “transphobic” act.
Obviously, that is untrue. The public forum would immediately be found by anyone simply searching the group’s charity number online, which many might have reason to do, for example checking the group’s registration status prior to donating.
It is quite bizarre to engage in such a blatant lie, while also seeming to admit the charity knew the data was publicly accessible via the “precise” search terms. However, this sort of fabricated deflection of the truth has been built into the Mermaids brand since CEO Susie Green (who had her son’s penis and testicles removed in Thailand on his sixteenth birthday) took over the political lobbying group, which was originally a peer support group for parents of children who rejected sex stereotypes.
UPDATE: Mermaids has now scrubbed their trustee statement, removing the “transphobia” allegations. Their original statement is linked above. Pathetic attempt at a cover-up.