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ICO tells Equifax to alert British customers affected by data breach

The UK data protection regulator has urged credit agency Equifax to alert customers in Britain who have been affected by its vast data breach.

The incident has been described as the worst data leak of all time after sensitive information belonging to 143 million American’s was stolen by hackers.

The firm said in a statement that the breach includes social security numbers, names, birthdates and, in some cases, credit card numbers.

It did not disclose how many British and Canadian residents were affected by the incident.

However, the Information Commissioner’s Office said it was in contact with the firm to establish how many people in the UK are affected.

“We will be advising Equifax to alert affected UK customers at the earliest opportunity,” said deputy commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone.

“In cyber attack cases that cross borders the ICO is committed to working with relevant overseas authorities on behalf of UK citizens,” he added.

Equifax became aware of the breach, which occurred from mid-May through July this year, on 29 July. It took 40 days to disclose the leak to consumers.