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Crown Paint probed by ICO for 'possible' online data breach

Crazed database reveals customers to world

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Exclusive A website owned by Crown Paint is being investigated for a “possible data breach”, after Register readers spotted that the company’s customer database was published in full online.

We contacted the firm this morning to alert it to the major data protection snafu on its crowndecoratingcentre.co.uk site, but at time of writing the database is still on show for all the world to see.

For obvious reasons, we won’t be providing you with a link to the glaring data cockup, which displays messages, names, email addresses, telephone numbers and home addresses of customers who had filled in a enquiry form.

El Reg asked Lancashire-based Crown Paint to tell us what had gone wrong, and how quickly it would fix the website. But we’re still awaiting a response.

We contacted the Information Commissioner’s Office this morning to bring the website’s database cockup to the data protection watchdog’s attention.

The ICO gave us this statement:

"We have recently been informed of a possible data breach which may involve Crown Decorating Centre.

"We will be making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken."

Crown Paint prides itself on its handling of private data.

"Ask us anything. Please remember to complete all your details so we can get back to you. All fields are mandatory," the paint maker says on its main 'contact us' web page.

"We promise not to share your details with anyone else." ®

Update

Crown's decorating centre's marketing manager David Fish gave us this statement:

"Crown are carrying out an extensive investigation into how the staging site became visible and have blocked further access to prevent anyone else using the link."

Shortly after this story was published, the website was taken offline. The full database is still available via Google's cache, however...

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