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BT ‘sent unencrypted data to firm’

BT ‘sent unencrypted data to firm’

Phone and internet giant BT has said it mistakenly sent details of hundreds of customers to an anti-piracy law firm in an unencrypted document.

The error could land the company in hot water as it may have breached the Data Protection Act, which requires the personal data of customers to be kept secure at all times by companies.

The mistake came to light after a list of 4,000 people accused of illegally sharing adult films appeared online after an attack on the ACS:Law systems.

BT insisted the unencrypted document was not the source of the leak.

The company added it would "resist efforts to share more customer details with rights holders and those acting on their behalf until we can be sure that alleged copyright infringements have some basis and customers are treated fairly".

It had released the customers' details to comply with a court order, the firm said.

Information commissioner Christopher Graham said that he could levy fines of up to £500,000 on firms that flouted the Data Protection Act.

A BT spokeswoman said: "BT can confirm that it did send unencrypted data to ACS:Law.

"However, this was not the cause of the leak. At a later date, due to a cyber attack on the systems of the law firm, data that it held was leaked."

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