BT, Vodafone and T-Mobile are among 20 companies that have pledged to increase efforts to safeguard consumers personal data.

The companies have signed the Personal Information Promise, which was drafted by the Information Commissioner. By signing the document the firms are agreeing undertake measures beyond those currently required by to law when it comes to securing sensitive personal data.

"Protecting people's personal details should not be left to chance. Organisations are waking up to the fact that privacy is now so significant that lapses risk reputations and bottom lines," said Information Commissioner Richard Thomas.

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The security of sensitive data has become a serious issue for companies and incidents of data being lost or stolen are on the increase. If the data falls into the wrong hands, consumers could find themselves at risk of ID theft.

"They have to make sure that safeguarding the personal information of the customers and staff is embedded in their organisational culture," added Thomas.

See also: 4.5m job seekers' details stolen from Monster