Bank of Ireland laptop stolen in 2001

Bank of Ireland laptop stolen in 2001

Less than a month after reporting the thefts of four laptops containing unencrypted customer data, Bank of Ireland (BoI) says it is investigating claims that another computer containing confidential information was stolen back in 2001.

According to local press, the theft from the bank's Newbridge branch in County Kildare in 2001 was reported to senior officials but customers were not notified of the incident.

The unencrypted computer is thought to have contained the dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, bank account numbers, medical histories and investment details of 4000 life assurance customers.

In a statement BoI says it is "investigating an allegation of a stolen laptop computer dating back to 2001". The bank says the risk level of any data from seven years ago being used for fraudulent purposes is "extremely remote".

However, security breach comes just weeks after BoI said four laptops containing the unencrypted personal details of 10,000 customers had been stolen. Those computers - which contained data on customers who had obtained a quote or purchased a life assurance policy from seven BoI branches in the Republic of Ireland - were stolen between June and October last year.

The bank faced criticism for failing to report the thefts to Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawke quickly enough, although it claimed to have only become aware of the situation in February this year.

After the 2007 thefts were reported Hawke said he would investigate the security arrangements in place and "the circumstances surrounding the theft" and "the exact circumstances which led to the delay in the reporting of this matter internally within the Bank of Ireland to the appropriate personnel".

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