BP loses data from Deepwater Horizon claimants

The oil company has lost a laptop containing the personal details of 13,000 people who applied for compensation for the Deepwater Horizon disaster

BP has admitted to losing data on 13,000 people who filed compensation claims related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The device containing the data was lost during "business-related travel" and contained personal data including names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and social-security numbers, according to the oil company.

Deepwater Horizon disaster

BP has lost data relating to Deepwater Horizon disaster compensation. Photo credit: US Coast Guard

"We have sent written notice to individuals impacted by this event to inform them about the loss of their personal data and to offer them free credit monitoring services to help protect their personal information," the company said in a statement on Tuesday. "BP takes the protection of personal information very seriously and deeply regrets the loss of the laptop."

The laptop was password-protected, but may not have been encrypted, a BP spokesman told ZDNet UK.

The laptop held a spreadsheet that tracked claims for compensation after the explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010 and subsequent oil spill. The spreadsheet tracked applications made before August, when BP set up the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, an organisation dedicated to investigating such claims.

The explosion on the rig, which occurred during work by Halliburton Energy Services, killed 11 men and caused an oil slick and extensive damage to the surrounding area and US coastline.

BP said the lost laptop had been reported to law enforcement agencies and to the company's internal security team, which is trying to recover the device.

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