Personal data stolen from Pfizer exposes 34,000 UK employees to risk of identity theft

More than 34,000 Pfizer employees in the UK are at risk of identity theft after a security breach exposed their personal data.

The pharmaceutical giant said that a former employee downloaded confidential information from a Pfizer computer system without the company’s knowledge.

The incident occurred late last year, but was only discovered by the company on 10 July, according to Pfizer spokeswoman Shreya Prudlo. Individuals were then notified more than six weeks later, on 24 August.

Prudlo said that information did not appear to have been misused, and Pfizer was offering employees free credit checks as a precaution.

The latest incident represented the third time since June that Pfizer has disclosed an employee data breach.

Jay Heiser, vice-president at IT research firm Gartner, said: “A growing number of regulations are being placed on businesses to treat lost data as having been stolen, forcing companies to notify any individuals whose personal data might have been lost.”

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