Security breach at Play.com provider loses customer details
From 10pm last night, the online retailer began emailing its entire database to say that a security breach meant customer data may have been leaked. Here's what the email had to say:
We are emailing all our customers to let you know that a company that handles part of our marketing communications has had a security breach. Unfortunately this has meant that some customer names and email addresses may have been compromised.
We take privacy and security very seriously and ensure all sensitive customer data is protected. Please be assured this issue has occurred outside of Play.com and no other personal customer information has been involved.
Please be assured we have taken every step to ensure this doesn’t happen again and accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused some of you.
So in fact it's not Play that suffered the security breach, it's a marketing firm that Play passed customer information onto. That's not that first time that's happened in the last few weeks; Grattan sent a similar email to it customers warning them that their information had been compromised, also pointing the figure at a third party 'service provider'.
It's unlikely there's any connection between the two (although there are marketing businesses that may sell information from mailing lists of both companies) but there's cause for concern regardless.
There's an astounding lack of transparency concerning how our data is being handled. In both instances an unnamed associate has lost an unknown amount of customer information and presumably we'll never be told what the outcome or consequences are, nor are we likely to know what disciplinary action occurred as a result. It's unlikely the ICO will take any action, meaning everyone involved will remain unaccountable. Or are we being too cynical?
Still, nice to see Play hasn't lost its sense of humour; after explaining they've screwed up by losing your personal data, Play's email then insists that customers be more careful with it.
Thanks to the two dozen avid readers who sent us the news!