Filed under: Civil Liberties, Crime, Economy, European Union, Family, FreeBritain, Health, Laws & Regulations, News, Police State, Politics, Privacy | Tags: Daily Mail, Data Loss, Data Mining, Data Protection, FM Watkins, Freedom, Identity Theft, Life, National ID Card, News, No2ID, Personal, Security
This just never seems to let up…
Source: Daily Mail
Personal details of more than a million bank customers have been found on a computer sold on eBay.
Highly sensitive information on American Express, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers was stored on the machine’s hard drive.
It includes names, addresses, mobile phone numbers, bank account numbers, sort codes, credit card numbers, mothers’ maiden names and even signatures.
It was described as ‘a data thief’s treasure chest’, with everything a criminal needs to assume a customer’s identity – and clear out their bank account.
The massive data loss – one of the worst ever in Britain – is a clear breach of the banks’ obligation under the Data Protection Act to keep all personal information secure.
Coming just days after the Home Office admitted losing the details of 127,000 criminals, it is certain to fuel public concern about how Government and businesses look after our secrets.
Last night it was revealed that a second computer from the same site has gone missing, meaning yet more information could have been leaked.
IT security expert Adam Laurie said: ‘This is appalling. This information is worth millions – a thief could easily use it to go on an enormous shopping spree.’
Liberal Democrat spokesman Tom Brake said: ‘This is yet another example of a seemingly trusted organisation appearing to be sloppy with people’s personal information.
‘This kind of data is invaluable and needs to be treated as such. People are entitled to wonder why they are constantly being told about the importance of protecting personal information when large organisations don’t seem to follow the same rules themselves.’
Both American Express and NatWest/RBS claimed they need to establish how many customers are affected before deciding how to act.
‘But it is likely that everyone whose details have been exposed will be forced to change their credit cards and bank accounts.
A former employee sold it on eBay for just £35.88 earlier this month. Crucially, he did so without first erasing the internal hard drive.
It was only when buyer Andrew Chapman started looking at the hard disk that its astonishing contents came to light.
Mr Chapman, a 56-year-old IT manager from Oxford, said: ‘I couldn’t believe it. In front of me was reams of extremely confidential information about thousands and thousands of people.’
Graphic Data said: ‘Certain pieces of IT equipment have been removed from a secure area. We are seeking to recover this equipment, which apparently contained customer data.
The scandal is the latest in a series of high-profile data security breaches.
Just last week the Home Office admitted one of its contractors had lost a computer memory stick holding the details of 127,000 criminals.
The blunders have increased public distrust of the authorities’ ability to keep their personal information secret – and increased opposition to the proposed national identity card scheme.
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