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Hertz France SAS fined for leaking customers personal info

Hertz France SASThe local Hertz centre in France has been slapped with a heavy fine for a data breach which leaked customers’ private details. The leak meant the names, driving licence numbers and addresses of more than 35,000 customers were freely available online.

La Commission de l’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) hit Hertz France SAS with a €40,000 (£36,000) fine for last year’s data breach. The fine equates to only a little over €1 (£0.90) for each customer whose details were compromised.

An update released by CNIL late last week explained that the fine was not higher because Hertz had moved quickly to plug the breach and had been fully cooperative throughout the investigation. New legislation introduced last November gives CNIL the power to fine companies up to €3 million (£2.7 million) if they do not safeguard the private details of clients and customers.

Hertz is the first offender to be penalised since the so called digital republic law was enacted. Commenting on the fine, CNIL claimed it now had effective means of ensuring firms took care of their clients’ data and the days of only being able to issue verbal reprimands were gone forever.

After the leak, Hertz’s customers’ private information could be found on www.cartereduction-hertz.com, the Hertz Horizons page. An enquiry found that the original fault did not lie with Hertz, but with an external contractor.

The contractors had been upgrading the website, but inadvertently left the details unprotected following a change in servers. Another mishap saw the deletion of critical coding which exposed the files in the public domain.

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