Virgin ordered to encrypt data


The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has ordered Virgin Media to encrypt all portable media containing data after it lost details of 3,000 potential customers in May.

The Carphone Warehouse had compiled a disc of names, addresses and in some cases, bank details, of customers who had expressed interest in purchasing Virgin Media services.

The disc was passed onto a Virgin Media staffer who lost the disc while travelling between two Virgin offices. The loss constitutes a breach of the Data Protection Act.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said the incident occurred as a result of human error and the company had reinforced its data protection procedures before the order from the ICO.

The spokesperson said: “This was an isolated incident which occurred in May and only affected a small number of people.

“Customer privacy is of the highest important to us so we immediately undertook a full review of our data protection policies and practices to ensure this matter does not occur again.

“Through our own undertaking we also took the decision to proactively contact all of the affected customers directly to ensure we met all of our responsibilities and support them through the process.

“Since our internal review, we have implemented all of the requirements stipulated by the ICO.”

Carphone did not comment.