A DEVICE aimed at improving the appearance of York breached data protection rules, Britain’s information watchdog has ruled.

The Smarter York application allowed people to report problems such as graffiti and littering electronically, but it emerged that some people’s personal data was made publically available on the website.

The city’s Liberal Democrats referred the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which has decided that the council breached guidelines and said residents must be told that any information they provide may be published on the Smarter York website.

No legal action will be taken, assuming the council amends the system.