Nationwide blanch at laptop theft

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Nationwide blanch at laptop theft

Tash Shifrin

Information on an unknown number of Nationwide customers that was held on a company laptop has been stolen from an employee’s house.

A spokesperson for the building society said a customer data set to be used for market research was on the password-protected laptop stolen during a “normal domestic burglary”.

The information did not include customer’s password, Pins or account balance information and could not be used on its own to commit ID fraud, the spokesperson added.

“Customers haven’t lost a penny, nor will they. We have a customer promise that if you’re a victim of fraud, you won’t pay.”

But the spokesperson said Nationwide could not provide information on the number of customers whose data had been on the laptop because this could hamper police inquiries.

The building society is cooperating with the police and the Financial Services Authority over the data theft.

Laptop data security is a matter of increasing concern. A survey released in August by the Ponemon Institute and data security firm Vontu revealed that more than four out of five firms had lost a laptop computer containing sensitive data in the past year.

The scale of potential losses was illustrated by the theft of a US Department for Veterans Affairs laptop holding confidential information on 26.5 million former soldiers.

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