Data breach at insurance company impacts up to one million customers

It inadvertently shared private data with Facebook, Google, and other tech firms

Data breach at insurance company impacts up to one million customers


By Ryan Smith

One of Sweden’s largest private insurers accidentally allowed several tech giants to gain access to private data in a breach that affected up to one million customers, according to a Bloomberg report.

Folksam Group, which oversees about US$50 billion in insurance assets, said Tuesday that it had inadvertently shared client data with Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Adobe. The breach was discovered during an internal audit, Bloomberg reported.

“We understand that this can cause concern among our customers and we take what has happened seriously,” Folksam said in a statement. “We have immediately stopped sharing this personal information and requested that it be deleted.”

The insurer, which is a major investor in several of Sweden’s biggest companies, said the breach occurred as it was trying to give its customers customized offers.

“But unfortunately, we have not done it in the right way,” Jens Wikstrom, Folksam’s head of marketing and sales, told Bloomberg.

The insurer has reported the breach to Sweden’s Data Inspectorate, according to reports. It has also asked that companies that received the data as a result of the breach delete it.

So far, there’s no indication that “the information has been used by third parties in any improper manner,” Folksam said.

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