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Insurance company fined after failing to protect customer information

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance PLC (RSA) £150,000 following the theft of a hard drive containing 59,592 customers’ names, addresses and bank account details, including account numbers and sort codes. The device also held limited credit card details of 20,000 customers, although CVC numbers and expiry dates were not affected.

ICO enforcement officers found that RSA did not have the appropriate measures in place to protect financial information and prevent the theft at its offices in West Sussex. The device was stolen from company premises either by a member of staff or a contractor, the information on it was not encrypted and the device has never been recovered.

Steve Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement, said: “Customers put their trust in companies to keep their information safe, particularly financial information. When we looked at this case, we discovered an organisation that simply didn’t take adequate precautions to protect customer information. Its failure to do so has caused anxiety for its customers, not to mention potential fraud issues.” Mr Eckersley added: “There are simple steps companies should take when using this type of equipment, including using encryption, making sure the device is secure and routine monitoring of equipment. RSA did not do any of this and that’s why we’ve issued this fine.”

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