Tarmac warned over data breach

Tarmac’s Tunstead cement plant

On 4th March 2022 Tarmac sent the Mineral Products Association (MPA) cement clinker production volumes for its Tunstead plant in Derbyshire for the dates 2016 to 2021. The information was sent accidentally as part of another communication to the MPA, on a hidden tab of a spreadsheet.

Although an accident, this was a breach of Article 3.7 of the Cement Market Data Order 2016, which prohibits the sharing of individual cement market data for five years.

The prohibited data was only seen by one member of staff at the MPA and Tarmac has since taken action to prevent a recurrence. The Competition & Markets Authority, the watchdog that poices compliance wth the order, has taken a lenient view of the error.

In a letter to the company this week, CMA director Alistair Thompson wrote: “Given the nature of Tarmac’s approach to preventing a recurrence, the CMA does not consider it appropriate to take formal enforcement action at this time. The CMA will monitor Tarmac’s compliance closely in future.”

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