Dixons Carphone Warehouse data breach – £500,000 fine issued by ICO
In January 2020, Dixons Carphone Warehouse were fined £500,000 by the Information Commissioners office for the breach of up to 14 million customers’ personal data.
The Carphone Warehouse and Currys PC World owner had been investigated for a hack of their systems which occurred between July 2017 and April 2018.
In the 2017-2018 hack the personal information included the addresses, names, dates of birth and email accounts of 10 million customers. The hackers gained access to 5.6 million banking card data.
According to the ICO:
The contraventions in this case were so serious that we imposed the maximum penalty under the previous legislation, but the fine would inevitably have been much higher under the GDPR.
Following the ICO’s investigation, the office found systemic failures in the way Dixons Carphone Warehouse safeguarded personal data, failures relating to commonplace security measures, and a complete neglect for the customers whose private data had been stolen in this breach.
Dixons apologised for any distress caused by the breach and said it would apologise to customers personally but gave no timescale for which these apologies would be issued.
Alex Neill, a member of the consumer lobby group Which?, said of the breach:
Dixons Carphone customers will be alarmed to hear about this massive data breach and will be asking why it has taken so long for the company to uncover the extent of its security failure.
It is now critical that the company moves quickly to ensure those affected get clear information about what has happened and what steps they should take to protect themselves
Anyone concerned they could be at risk of fraud should consider changing their online passwords, monitor bank and other online accounts and be wary of emails regarding the breach as scammers may try and take advantage of it.
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