Zurich loses 51,000 UK customer details

Lost backup

Zurich Insurance admitted today that it has lost a backup tape containing details of 51,000 of its UK customers.

The company has said the tape was lost in a routine transfer to its data centre in South Africa during August of last year. It also contained details of customers and other parties based in Botswana and South Africa, Zurich confirmed.

It conducted an investigation and admitted there were deficiencies in the management of data tape security procedures.

Annette Court, chief executive of Europe General Insurance of Zurich, said in a statement: "We apologise to any customers affected by this unfortunate matter. We take the security of our customers' data very seriously. What has happened is unacceptable to us."

IT PRO contacted Zurich to ask what types of data had been lost but a spokesperson told us it "wouldn't be fair" to share that information.

All customers affected have been sent a letter by Zurich letting them know what was on the tape and a dedicated phone number has been set up to deal with any related queries.

Both the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the UK Information Commissioner's Office have been informed about the loss and Zurich has appointed KPMG to carry out a full investigation.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.