Personal information of more than 3,000 people has been leaked onto the internet, in the second blunder in six months involving a government database being made public. The leak involved data including names, birth dates and identity numbers of 3,424 guardians of entrants in the 2009 East Asian Games Slogan Competition run by the Leisure and Cultural Service Department. The department confirmed yesterday it discovered in May that private data of at least four of the guardians had been viewed through the Google search engine. It came as a row was still swirling over the leak - discovered in March - of data on more than 20,000 complainants to the Independent Police Complaints Council, including well-known activists Leung Kwok-hung and Lau Shan-ching. Director of Leisure and Culture Services Thomas Chow Tat-ming, said the latest leak was caused by a new program, introduced in November, that allowed participants access to edit their personal data using passwords. Unfortunately, it also allowed other people to access the data through Google without passwords. 'We have sent a report to the contractor asking them to give an explanation [on the program design],' he said, adding that he sincerely apologised for the incident. Whether action would be taken against the contractor would depend on the explanation. He said an internal investigation had been launched to see how similar incidents could be prevented in future, but would not comment on whether any officials would be held accountable. The department said that as the creation of slogans for the games involved copyright, participants under the age of 18 were required to provide the particulars of their guardians in addition to their own. It said in a statement that the Chinese names, dates of birth and identity card numbers of two guardians had been viewed, as well as the Chinese and English names and dates of birth of two others. 'We have no information that the other 3,000 or so guardians' data submitted in connection with the competition have been viewed through this channel,' it said. The department was first informed of the leak on May 6 and asked Google to remove all the relevant data from its search engine. The removal was completed two days later. 'The department has contacted Google and asked it to check its records to ascertain whether the concerned data had been viewed, and, if so, how many times. We have received no response so far,' the department spokesman said. Mr Chow said he chose to notify the participants and announce the incident rather than wait for Google to give them more information. Letters apologising for the incident have also been sent to the guardians.