Bupa fined £175,000 due to worker attempting to sell customer data on the dark web

The rogue employee attempted to sell customers' names, date of birth and email addresses

Bupa logo

Bupa has been fined 175,000 by the ICO after one of its employees tried to sell the records of 547,000 Bupa Global customers on the dark web early last year.

The employee in question managed to lift the data from Bupa's CRM system, which holds data relating to 1.5 million of the company's customers in total. The information stolen included dates of birth, email addresses and nationality.

The ICO said Bupa failed to protect its customers' data by not monitoring its CRM system, SWAN, was used, allowing the employee to steal the information and then send the records to his personal email account. This data was then sent by the employee to the dark web between January and March last year.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Bupa was only made aware of the issue on 16 June 2017 when a partner told the company it had found the customer information for sale. The company also received 198 complaints about the incident and at this point, the employee in question was dismissed and Sussex Police informed.

After investigating into the breach, Bupa realised there was a flaw in its activity monitoring system that meant it wasn't alerted to unusual activity in the system, such as bulk data downloads. The ICO said this was a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

"Bupa failed to recognise that people's personal data was at risk and failed to take reasonable steps to secure it," ICO director of investigations Steve Eckersley said.

"Our investigation found material inadequacies in the way Bupa safeguarded personal data. The inadequacies were systemic and appear to have gone unchecked for a long time. On top of that, the ICO's investigation found no satisfactory explanation for them."

The ICO said it has fined Bupa under the Data Protection Act 1998 and not the more recent General Data Protection Regulation and 2018 Act because the incident occurred before the new legislation came into force.

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/policy-legislation/data-protection/355184/supreme-court-finds-morrisons-was-not-liable-for-2014
data protection

Supreme Court rules Morrisons was not liable for 2014 data breach

1 Apr 2020
Visit/security/privacy/355048/government-may-trace-covid-19-patients-using-mobile-phone-data
privacy

UK government may trace COVID-19 patients using mobile phone data

20 Mar 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/354842/irish-data-regulator-racks-up
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Irish data regulator racks up GDPR cases against Big Tech

24 Feb 2020
Visit/data-insights/data-management/354423/eu-us-data-transfer-tools-used-by-facebook-ruled-legal
data management

EU-US data transfer tools used by Facebook ruled legal

19 Dec 2019

Most Popular

Visit/security/privacy/355155/zoom-kills-facebook-integration-after-data-transfer-backlash
privacy

Zoom kills Facebook integration after data transfer backlash

30 Mar 2020
Visit/security/data-breaches/355173/marriott-hit-by-data-breach-exposing-personal-data-of-52-million
data breaches

Marriott data breach exposes personal data of 5.2 million guests

31 Mar 2020
Visit/security/cyber-crime/355171/fbi-warns-of-zoom-bombing-hackers-amidst-coronavirus-usage-spike
cyber crime

FBI warns of ‘Zoom-bombing’ hackers amid coronavirus usage spike

31 Mar 2020
Visit/data-insights/data-management/355170/oracle-cloud-courses-are-free-during-coronavirus-lockdown
data management

Oracle cloud courses are free during coronavirus lockdown

31 Mar 2020