UK: Action taken after personal details found in waste bins

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has found Bellgrange Mortgages and Insurance Services Ltd in breach of the Data Protection Act after clients’ details were found in two large waste bins intended for the use of local residents. The organization, based in Stanmore, has signed an official Undertaking to improve data security.

The material included mortgage application forms, client bank account details and copies of documents used to verify client identity. A small number of the documents also contained medical information.

Following the discovery, the documents were either returned to Bellgrange or destroyed by a waste disposal contractor. Bellgrange responded to the incident by offering to register the affected individuals with a fraud protection service provider.

In addition, Bellgrange has agreed to put adequate security measures in place. It will ensure there is an adequate policy regarding the storage and disposal of personal data, and staff are sufficiently trained and adhere to the new policy.

Sally Anne-Poole Head of Enforcement and Investigations, said: “This incident highlights the need for organizations to dispose of material containing personal details securely and safely. Organizations must employ security measures to ensure personal data is in no way compromised. I am pleased that Bellgrange is taking action to prevent a similar situation occurring in the future.”

If you need more information, please contact the ICO press office on 020 7025 7580 or visit the website at: www.ico.gov.uk. View the Undertaking at http://www.ico.gov.uk/what_we_cover/data_protection/enforcement.aspx

Source: Information Commissioner’s Office

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