ICO Investigates Pensions Trust Data Loss

A laptop was stolen from the offices of NorthgateArinso, a

software provider to the Pensions Trust.

The laptop contained personal data relating to 109,000 pension

scheme members.

The data was protected with a password and "not easily

accessible" but was unencrypted.

A laptop containing the details of 109,000 pension scheme

members has been stolen from the offices of NorthgateArinso in

Marlow in Buckinghamshire. NorthgateArinso provides software used

by the Pensions Trust and in doing so acted as a data processor on

behalf of the Trust. The Pensions Trust runs pension schemes for

charities and voluntary organisations.

The personal data contained in the laptop was protected by a

password and the laptop was locked in a secure room when thieves

broke into the offices of NorthgateArinso. However, the personal

data contained in the laptop was not encrypted and included names,

addresses, dates of birth, employer, national insurance numbers,

salary details and in some cases, bank details.

A spokesman from the ICO said:

"Any organisation which processes personal information

must ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to keep that

information secure.... We will be contacting the Pensions Trust to

establish how this security breach occurred and to find out what

steps will be taken to ensure that such a breach cannot happen

again".

Organisations which process personal data must take appropriate

steps to protect such data from unauthorised or unlawful

processing, accidental loss, destruction or damage. Where data is

stored on portable devices such as laptops, the data must be

encrypted.

Organisations which outsource part or all of their data

processing activities to a third...

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