10/14/2008 1:39:00 PM
Stolen laptop leaves 1,000s of Vodafone staff vulnerable
Thousands of Vodafone staff are at risk of being defrauded after a laptop containing their pension details and other personal information was stolen from accountancy firm Deloitte.
Vodafone sent out a message to staff in the wake of the theft warning that their personal information ‘may be accessed and misused in some way’. The laptop was in possession of a Deloitte female employee, but was stolen in what Vodafone described as an ‘opportunistic’ theft.
Information on the laptop included staff member’s surnames and initials, employee numbers, national insurance numbers, dates of birth, pay grades and pensionable salary, earnings and contributions.
An affected Vodafone staffer told Mobile: ‘I’m very concerned that my data will be used in some fraudulent way, whoever has the data could potentially open a bank account or apply for credit in some way.’
In the letter to staff, Vodafone moved to reassure staff that they were unlikely to become victims of fraud. The message said: ‘None of the information contained could be used to gain access to any Vodafone systems, so we are confident that the information can’t be used to access your account[s] on the Vodafone employee benefits and other systems.’
The letter also recommended that affected staff members register with Stop-idfraud.co.uk to help them avoid being defrauded.
A Vodafone spokesperson said: ‘Vodafone is extremely concerned about the breach in security of our employees’ personal information and we take the matter very seriously. Deloitte is a highly reputable firm and also sincerely regrets that this opportunistic theft has happened.
’Vodafone will continue to liaise with Deloitte to ensure that their security processes are of the standard that we expect of a company which has access to such information.’
The laptop also had a number of other companies and organisations pensions information on it, including BSkyB, Network Rail and the British transport police.