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Daily Insurance Industry News
Saturday 23rd of June 2018
May 27, 2011

Co-op funeral insurance customers accidentally go online

by Gill Montia

Story link: Co-op funeral insurance customers accidentally go online

Co-operative Life Planning (CLP) has breached the Data Protection Act by failing to ensure a contractor followed the company’s security
procedures.

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), in March an electronic file that had been repaired by CLP’s software support contractor was “accidentally” made available online.

The file contained the names, dates of births, addresses and insurance contributions of 82,000 CLP customers who had previously bough funeral insurance.

The ICO’s investigation found that the software support services provider had no authorisation to copy the data from the insurer’s servers and had failed to delete the information once the file had been repaired.

In addition, CLP failed to realise that the data had been transferred on two separate occasions, and was unaware that customers’ details had been made available online.

The mutual’s managing director, Ian Mackie, has signed an undertaking to introduce data loss prevention software, already tested by the group, across all its servers.

The ICO’s acting head of enforcement, Sally-Anne Poole, says: “This case highlights the need for companies to ensure their contractors are following procedures on keeping customers’ personal information secure.”

Earlier this week, figures obtained by Which? Money indicated that the UK’s biggest banks could be breaching data protection rules with alarming regularity.

According to the consumer group, between August 2009 and August 2010, there were 515 complaints lodged with the ICO about possible data protection breaches by eight of Britain’s biggest banks and building societies.

Which? Money research also suggests that just one in ten people are aware of the ICO, suggesting that the volume of complaints could represent the tip of the iceberg.

 

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