Feeds

Nationwide fined £980,000 over stolen laptop

Details on 11 million customers went awol

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined The Nationwide Building Society £980,000 for the loss of a laptop which contained "confidential customer data" on 11 million customers.

The laptop was stolen from a Nationwide employee's home. Although he quickly reported the theft, according to the BBC, he didn't tell his employers what was on the machine until after a three-week holiday, at which time Nationwide started an investigation.

What customer details the laptop contained is not clear. Although Nationwide "claimed that the information on it could not have been used for identity fraud as there were no PIN numbers, passwords or account balance information on it", the BBC notes the laptop "may have contained names, addresses and account numbers." Accordingly, "customers had been exposed to the risk of financial crime".

The FSA found Nationwide was not aware the laptop "contained any confidential customer information at all".

FSA enforcement director Margaret Cole said: "Nationwide is the UK's largest building society and holds confidential information for over 11 million customers. Nationwide's customers were entitled to rely upon it to take reasonable steps to make sure their personal information was secure."

The FSA further noted: "The failure to manage or monitor downloads of very large amounts of data onto portable storage devices meant that Nationwide had limited control over information held in this way or how it was used."

Nationwide subsequently wrote to all customers apologising for the cock-up. Chief exec Philip Williamson offered: "I wish to emphasise that there has been no loss of money from our customers' accounts as a result of this incident."

Nationwide declined to say whether the employee in question - who apparently had legitimate access to the data - had been disciplined or sacked. The laptop has not been recovered. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.