Feeds

Insurance giant rapped on knuckles over DPA breach

Amicus in doghouse over stolen, unencrypted laptop

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Insurance firm Amicus Legal has been put on notice for breaches of the Data Protection Act, after it failed to protect sensitive customer data on a laptop that was subsequently stolen.

The laptop, privately owned by a contracted consultant, contained an estimated 100,000 unencrypted customer records. The sensitive data held on the machine in plain text included details of legal advice.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has obtained a legal undertaking from Amicus Legal that it will ensure proper protection of sensitive data is maintained in future. For example, Amicus has promised to use encryption on portable computers and USB sticks.

Breaches to the agreement could result in enforcement action by the ICO. In a statement, the data privacy watchdog said the case illustrated that firms are responsible for the security practices of their contractors.

Sally-Anne Poole, head of enforcement & investigations at the ICO, said: "This case was serious because it involved the data of 100,000 customers, including sensitive information relating to legal advice. This breach illustrates that even though a contractor lost the data, it is the data controller (Amicus Legal Ltd) which is responsible for the security of the information. It is vital that personal information is handled properly and in compliance with the Data Protection Act."

"Since November 2007, 161 data security breaches have been reported to the ICO by the private sector. We urge all CEOs and their senior management teams to take personal responsibility for treating data protection as a corporate governance issue affecting the whole organisation. They have to make sure that safeguarding the personal information of customers and staff is embedded in their organisational culture." ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.