Insurance major Zurich has disclosed that it had misplaced a back-up tape containing crucial personal details of more than 51,000 UK customers.
The tape comprising the details was lost back in August last year, but notifications are only now being sent to the insurance customers cautioning them to take the essential precautionary measures.
The insurance group has asserted that it had only recently discovered that the tape had been misplaced when it was being transferred to a data storage centre in South Africa.
However, the company claimed that it still didn’t know the reason behind the information loss, and therefore launched an investigation into the matter.
The company has further declined to provide any details about the type of data stored on the tape, but it’s quite obvious that they could be exploited by identity fraudsters.
In order to play down the issue, Zurich Insurance has assured the affected customers to provide them with free identity theft protection, which would include offering details of any transaction made in their names. It has also urged the customers to contact their banks with immediate effect.
Annette Court, chief executive officer of the general insurance for Europe and Zurich Financial Services, said: “We apologise unreservedly to all our customers, although we have no evidence that any of their details have been compromised”.
Zurich Insurance has managed to lose details of its clients and apart from the bad PR, there's certainly not much that is going to happen. We'd like to see an automatic fine mechanism being slapped on companies losing content right, left and center. But then, there's the fact that quite a few of them are public bodies.