UK: Information on 1.4m customers lost by Cattles Group Birstall headquarters

More than a million customers have had their personal details “lost” after a data mix-up at a loan firm’s Birstall headquarters.

The Cattles Group, which owns Welcome Finance loans firm, has written to customers informing them that two back-up storage discs with private information about 1.4 million customers have been misplaced.

Marlene Proctor, 31, from Wibsey, was one of the customers who received a letter saying the firm cannot account for her personal details, including bank details, national insurance number, date of birth and address.

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As well as customers’ details, the lost IT discs included human resource data about staff who are part of the Cattles Group.

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The Cattles spokesman said: “The storage tapes contain low-level personal data relating to 1.4 million customers, limited to names and addresses for 800,000, but also including date of birth and payment history for 600,000.

“The tapes also include HR data relating to staff in employment with the Cattles Group up to October 2010. A process to inform affected customers and employees is under way. There is no evidence that the information has fallen into the wrong hands or been used maliciously.

Read more on Telegraph & Argus.

h/t, AlertBoot, who point out some of the contradictions in the reports.

When companies go bankrupt or fold, we have often seen records treated with less than the scrupulous security they require. Over the years, I’ve reported cases where boxes of medical records are left behind or cartons of employee records are just thrown out, etc. Was the lack of adequate security in this case related to the firm having gone bankrupt? Hard to say, as the lack of proper security may just be symptomatic of other problems the firm had that resulted in bankruptcy. We may never know, but that’s a lot of personal data to be unaccounted for.

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