TalkTalk could be hit with £500,000 fine for data breach

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Bank and credit card information of 4 million TalkTalk customers are feared to have been stolen

TalkTalk could be fined up to £500,000 by the Information Commissioners Office for a data breach that puts 4 million customers’ personal details at risk of being stolen.

The ICO will be making enquiries with the police about the incident, which saw cyber criminals attack the company’s website on Thursday (October 23).

The fixed line and mobile provider confirmed all of its customers could potentially be affected. Their names, addresses, date of births, phone numbers, email addresses, and bank and credit card information are at risk.

If TalkTalk is found guilty by the ICO of breaching strict data protection laws, it can face maximum fines of £500,000.

An ICO spokesperson said: “The ICO is aware of this incident, which was reported to us on Thursday afternoon. We will be making enquiries and liaising with the Police.

“Any time personal data is lost there can be a risk of identity theft. There are measures you can take to guard against identity theft, for instance being vigilant around items on your credit card statements or checking your credit ratings.”

This is the second attack on TalkTalk this year following an email scam that hit customers in February. Carphone Warehouse, which TalkTalk split from in 2010, was the victim of a data breach in August which saw the personal details of 2.4 million customers at risk of being stolen. No incidents have been reported and the ICO are still investigating the Carphone data breach.

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