BP loses 13,000 Deepwater Horizon claimant details

A BP employee, who will no doubt receive a handsome raise, has lost the personal details of over 13,000 compensation claimants following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.

BP managed to delay tellling individuals affected about the data bungle by a whole month. Responding to the Press Association, a spokesperson for BP, Curtis Thomas, said it was “due diligence and investigating.” 

Before the oil spill disaster on the Gulf Coast, plenty of individuals filed compensation claims with BP. Both BP and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility have paid out in compensation, with the latter having shelled out figures in the billions to 172,539 claimants.

He said that the lost laptop had been password protected but the information was not encrypted.

Lost data includes names, social security, phone numbers and addresses, all packed together in a handy spreadsheet.

As of publication, BP insists that no one has had their personal details misused. It reckons that if the laptop has been stolen it was a crime “of opportunity” rather than deliberate – as it was originally reported as lost during “business travel”. BP has also offered to pay for claimants to have their credit monitored, just in case. 

No one will have to re-submit claims.

Encryption professionals at Stonewood say that the loss should be a stark reminder that the private sector must be careful with data, as well as the public sector here in the UK. Stonewood says: “Leaving sensitive data on individuals unencrypted is bad enough, when you factor in the importance of the data, and the scale of the event which made BP record it in the first place, it becomes inexplicable.”