The Vodafone data officer at the centre of the News UK privacy breach is still with the operator, European Communications has learned.

It emerged on Wednesday that Vodafone accidentally provided the Metropolitan Police Service with data relating to over 1,000 journalists instead of the one person under investigation.

Vodafone was compelled to provide the MPS with the data after being served with a warrant.

The data is understood to have been held on disks that needed to be converted manually.

It was during this process that the corruption of the data – Vodafone said columns of metadata were incorrectly transposed and erroneous data included – is thought to have happened.

The operator said human error was to blame for the leak, which did not include data that related to an individual’s content or location.

[Read more: Governments must be more transparent about data demands, pleads Vodafone]

European Communications understands that the person who made the error has been with the company for a long time and is "distraught" over the leak.

It is unclear whether sanctions have been meted out to the employee, who remains at Vodafone.

The operator released a statement that said processes have been put in place to ensure it could not happen again.

The statement also revealed the error “was not clear” to it when handing over the data to the MPS in March this year.

The MPS didn't tell Vodafone of the error until July.

Vodafone remains confident it was a one-off error. Although it receives many data requests, very few require manual intervention.

[Read more: Operators warned to push security up the agenda and respond quicker]

The Vodafone statement added: “The MPS has now returned the erroneously disclosed data unused.”

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