Data scandal - Dozens of confidential documents are found dumped outside store
PUBLISHED: 12:49 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:32 05 May 2010
ALMOST a dozen carrier bags containing people s personal details have been found dumped in Stevenage. The bags which contained utility bills, a driving licence, photocopies of debit cards and credit agreements between Cash Generator and some of its custom
ALMOST a dozen carrier bags containing people's personal details have been found dumped in Stevenage.
The bags which contained utility bills, a driving licence, photocopies of debit cards and credit agreements between Cash Generator and some of its customers were discovered by Jamie Buchan, 25, of Stevenage, in The Quadrant, about 40ft away from Cash Generator in Town Square.
He said: "I stumbled across the data while walking through town. I was pretty shocked when I found that the bags had been left in the street with the amount of fraud that goes on these days.
"Bags containing sensitive information have been left in the area for at least two weeks. Last week I decided to approach a member of staff at Cash Generator about it but they didn't do anything so I thought I would after seeing it still lying there today (Wednesday)."
Mark Coney, who was appointed store manager when new franchisees recently took over Cash Generator, said: "We don't throw anything away. It's archived for at least five years and it's discarded professionally.
"When we took over the store about three weeks ago there was rubbish left over from the previous owner but we weren't going to go through black sacks of rubbish.
"However, we have had problems with people going through our rubbish bins out the back and leaving rubbish all over the floor and as a result we have spent over £200 on heavy duty chains and padlocks to prevent it from happening and we are now in the process of installing CCTV cameras."
A few minutes after The Comet contacted Mr Coney, our photographer spotted two Cash Generator employees at the back of the store picking up discarded documents.
This incident of confidential information being put in the public domain is the second one to have happened in Stevenage in the last five months.
In March, a police memory stick containing confidential information about offenders known to the police, including drug dealers, was found by a member of the public in a gutter outside a betting shop. The 330megabytes of data, equivalent to 165,000 pages, was not encrypted and contained offenders' names, addresses and convictions.