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Alert after Shell workers’ data leaked on web

Evening Express: Claim that oil firm staff could be at risk

By Jennifer McKiernan and Charlotte Jordan

Published: 12/02/2010


ADVICE: Shell employees at Tullos have been told not to be alarmed

A DATA leak has put Shell oil workers in danger from cyber-criminals and environmental activists, it was claimed today.

A Shell database containing details of 102,000 employees and contractor information was accessed and sent out from the firm, which has a major base in Aberdeen.

The information includes private addresses and mobile phone numbers.

Among those to be sent the details were British blogger John Donovan who said the personal details could be used to dupe staff and put workers in dangerous situation.

He said he “knew for certain” the data had been passed to a Nigerian activist organisation and six other groups.

And he accused the oil company of “covering-up” the full extent of risk to staff.

E-mails from Shell’s chief ethics and compliance officer Richard Wiseman said employee and contractor security could be compromised by the leaked data.

Mr Donovan said: “I voluntarily agreed not to make the database accessible online because bosses stressed the potential risk to the personal safety of some Shell employees.

“He probably had in mind employees in Nigeria at risk of kidnapping.”

However, in a public e-mail sent to all Shell staff, including those in the North-east, Mr Wiseman reassured staff there was “no need to be alarmed” about the leak, which he said could result in “nuisance telephone calls”.

A Shell spokesman said: “The details of such data are primarily business related. We will investigate this matter and comply with all legal requirements in relation to this issue.”

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