Fortnum & Mason suffers data breach; 23,000 customers affected

In yet another data breach case, British department store Fortnum & Mason revealed on Tuesday that the personal data of around 23,000 customers has been compromised.


Photo: Fortnum & Mason

The luxury company was the latest victim of a data hack, following similar incidents at Forever 21, Saks Fifth Avenue, Under Armour and most recently Adidas.

The data was leaked through Typeform, a third-party survey company that had been working with Fortnum & Mason for its food and drink awards.

The retailer, which also sells high-end clothing, accessories and beauty products, said the data involved in the breach consisted mostly of email addresses, contact numbers and social media handles. No bank details or passwords have been accessed as a result of the breach, it stressed.

“At 17.26pm on Friday 29 June, Typeform, a company that provides services that we have used in the past to collect survey responses and voting preferences, notified us that they had suffered a data breach and unfortunately some of our data had been compromised,” the retailer said in a statement.

“The data of approximately 23,000 competition and survey participants who inputted into a Typeform form has been involved in this breach. For the majority of people, only the email address has been exposed. For a smaller proportion of customers, other data such as address, contact number and social handle has been included. These forms did not request bank or payment details, or require passwords.”

The number of retail firms reporting data breaches has doubled in just one year, according to a report from the Information Commissioner’s Office. As customers submit more and more information to retailers, brands are becoming a popular target for hackers due to the vast amounts of data they collect and their aging systems.

Additionally, cyber security is a high priority for just 39% of directors or senior manager in the retail and wholesale sector, according to a 2017 analysis of Gov.uk data.

This week, Adidas alerted its US shoppers of a potential data breach, saying it could involve contact information, usernames and encrypted passwords. The incident could affect millions of customers, according to reports.

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