Tesco customer details left lying in the road in Northampton

Tesco at Mereway
Tesco at Mereway

A good Samaritan prompted Tesco to review the way it protects customer data after she discovered a hand-held terminal, full of shoppers’ details, lying in the middle of a busy Northampton road.

Warehouse worker Tara Badger and her fiance, Karl Taylor, were driving home from a meal at 8pm last Tuesday, when they spotted a green box by the A45 roundabout in Crow Lane. It was a container holding a bundle of shopping and a hand-held terminal belonging to Tesco.

It had fallen out of an unsecured delivery van, but Tara said it was lucky she was the one to find it, as the device contained the order details, phone numbers and addresses of eight customers on that round.

“It’s a good job we weren’t criminal minded,” she said. “Someone could easily call all the people on there, see if they were at home and, if not, go and burgle their house.”

When the couple returned home they called Tesco customer services and were told to take it to their nearest store, but Tara, of Ecton Road, Ecton, believed someone should have been sent out to collect it straight way. The following morning she called Tesco Mereway, which sent a staff member out.

Tesco is now investigating how this happened.

A spokesperson said: “We will be reviewing how we can strengthen the security on the device and reminding colleagues of our responsibility to protect customer data carefully.”