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Play.com customers affected by data leak

25 March 2011 - 14:24 by Paul Tissington

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Play.com has admitted this week that a proportion of its customers may have had their personal details leaked online by a third party marketing firm.

The retailer is one of the biggest e-commerce sites in the UK and has always been known for its low prices and ability to offer safe shopping online with a good deal of security.

Now it has emerged that the names and email addresses of a currently unknown number of users were stolen and subsequently used as targets for spam campaigns.

Play.com was apparently only made aware of the leak by the customers themselves, who noticed that they had started getting spam emails sent to accounts which were only linked to their Play.com purchases.

John Perkins, chief executive of Play.com, said that users need not worry about their financial details being compromised as the only data to have leaked related to email addresses. As such, he is confident that using the information for anything other than spamming, is going to be difficult.

Mr Perkins said that Play.com took safe shopping online very seriously and used a statement to assure users that their card details and other sensitive information was always protected in a very secure environment, to minimise the chance of it being stolen or exploited in some other way.

Play.com customers who were affected are advised to change the passwords on their email accounts as a precaution to ensure total safety.

Some experts have criticised Play.com's response to the incident, which allegedly occurred back in December 2010, with some claiming that the e-commerce firm did not give its customers adequate information on how to respond to the leak once it was discovered.

Full details of the Play.com security breach have yet to emerge, but the firm will be looking to brush aside any issues and get back to business as usual.