THE Scottish Conservative leader deleted a tweet containing the names, ages, and schools of a number of Moray primary school pupils following a furious social media backlash.

Douglas Ross shared a photograph showing a number of entries to his annual Christmas card competition, in which all 45 primary schools in Moray are invited to help him design a card.

He wrote: “Delighted with the huge number of entries for my annual Christmas card competition this year, making it really difficult to judge. Well done to the pupils from across Moray for your fantastic entries.”

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In the photograph, posted to both Facebook and Twitter, the personal details of a number of children were visible.

Concerned parents urged the Moray MP to take the post down immediately, questioning whether Ross had sought permission for the information to be shared on social media. A number of residents also reported contacting Ross’s constituency office to express their fears.

“Any of one of [the children] could be in a situation where their name and whereabouts need to be protected from abusive or safety reasons,” pointed out one commenter.

“There’s a reason why we don’t share this type of info and advise kids to not give their name or school online,” added another.

After more than 24 hours, the post was removed from both Facebook and Twitter.

The National understands that two complaints have been made regarding Ross’s posts to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – the regulator which handles information rights.

When complaints are raised with the ICO, they are recorded and considered. If the body decides that there has been a “clear and serious breach” of data rules, they can provide advice on the issue and in some instances take enforcement action.

If there has been a breach, Ross as the data controller is supposed to notify the ICO within 72 hours. No notification has yet been received by the ICO.

A spokesperson for the office said: “If a decision is made that a breach doesn’t need to be reported, a record should be kept and data controllers should be able to explain why it wasn’t reported if necessary.”

“All data controllers using personal data should do so safely and securely. If anyone has concerns about how their data has been handled, they can report these concerns to us.”

Whether permission was sought for the data to be published on Ross’s social media accounts is currently not clear. A spokesperson for Moray Council suggested that standard media consent forms signed by parents would cover this kind of post, saying: “Schools in Moray obtain media consents from families on an annual basis, which covers the use of photographs and personal information of pupils across different types of media. We can confirm on this occasion all pupils had media permissions granted.”

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However, when asked why the posts were deleted, whether permission was explicitly granted for Ross’s posts and if The National could see the permission slips given to parents each year, the council did not respond before the paper went to print.

The Scottish Conservatives did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Karen Adam, the SNP MSP for Banff and Buchan which borders Moray and is part of the North East Scotland Holyrood region that Ross represents, told The National: “If a breach has indeed occurred from the photos Douglas Ross posted on social media, I hope he properly declares such to the Information Commission’s Office so that due process can take place.”