The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has confirmed it is investigating complaints relating to Tesco's website password security, following concerns it is placing customers' personal details at risk.
The ICO confirmed it was investigating the issues in a brief statement sent to V3 on Tuesday.
"We're aware of this issue and will be making enquiries," an ICO spokesperson told V3.
The ICO's enquiries follow on from Australian security professional Troy Hunt's accusations in July that Tesco's website allows shoppers' sessions to be hijacked by cyber criminals.
"Tesco continually overstate their security prowess while clearly under-delivering in their execution," Hunt said in a blog post.
"Clearly the passwords aren't hashed at all let alone salted. At best they're encrypted."
If found to be mishandling customers' data by the ICO, Tesco could be hit with a fine of a maximum of £500,000, although in the past the privacy watchdog has shied away from utilising the full force of its powers.
Most recently, the ICO fined St George's NHS Trust in London £60,000 after it sent sensitive medical records by post to the wrong address, and landed a Torquay health trust £175,000 fine after it inadvertently published equal opportunity data about its staff on its website.
At the time of writing, Tesco had not responded to V3's request for comment on the ICO's statement.
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