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[ISN] M&S loses personal data on 26,000 employees


By INQUIRER newsdesk
08 May 2007

FAVE SHOP OF THE chattering classes, Marks and Spencer has become the 
latest outfit to lose a laptop stuffed with empolyees' details.

The shop admitted the computer contained addresses, dates of birth, 
national insurance and phone numbers of some 26,000 employees. It says 
the laptop was stolen from a printing firm that had been given the 
information in order to write to employees about pension changes.

M&S offered free credit checks to all staff affected by the possible 
data breach.

The PGP Corporation was quick to point out that had the company used its 
software to encrypt the data it might have left itself less at risk.

"The only silver lining here as is true in most of these cases," said a 
spokesPGPer, "is that it seems to have been an opportunistic theft 
rather than a targeted attack."

He said companies need to realise that encryption and authorisation 
controls are essential to protect sensitive customer and employee data, 
"before legislation in this area drives greater punishment."

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