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1.4 million people affected in data loss

The BBC has reported a massive data loss, with up to 1.4 million victims. The CattleS Group, parent company of both doorstep lenders Welcome Financial Services Limited and Shopacheck, has written to 1.4 million people after the names, address and some payment history information was lost. The ICO is now investigating, after two storage tapes went missing. The victims of the data breach include all clients that signed up with either company between October 2005 and Ocotber 2010 as well as 18,000 current and former employees.

Although the loss has occurred, Shopacheck, in its letter to those affected, said:

“We have no evidence that the information has fallen into the wrong hands.

“However, we cannot rule out the risk that the data has or may be accessed and so must warn you that there is potential for your information to be misused.”

As a result of this loss, the Cattles Group has launched a review of data security across the company.

A spokesperson from the Information Commissioner’s Office said: “We will be making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken.”

The maximum fine that can be imposed following a breach is £500,000.

Welcome Finance was one of the UK’s largest lenders for people with a chequered credit history until they stopped lending to new customers in 2009.

Shopacheck specialises in doorstep lending to those who may have been rejected by the mainstream banks. The lender’s typical terms amount to a 399.7% representative APR.

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