The last remaining doubt that corporate America is utterly incapable of guarding sensitive data disappeared into the Internet's thriving black market in Social Security numbers on Monday. Time Warner lost computer backup tapes containing sensitive data, including the names and Social Security numbers and dependents of about 600,000 current and former employees. In a companywide message broadcast to its employees,Time Warner said the data, stored in a cooler-sized container, went missing more than a month ago while being shipped to a storage center. ... A spokesperson for Iron Mountain, the records management company that lost the tapes, was a bit less contrite. "It happens,'' said Iron Mountain flack Melissa Burman.. "We've got humans involved in the process.''
When you lose personal data you don’t wait a month to inform those affected, you inform them immediately. If your company is responsible for the loss of records for 600,000 people, you do not blow it off as human error. You express profound regret and assure the public that the company is conducting a thorough investigation and will review its procedures to insure such a thing never happens again.
Jim Horton takes a more sympathetic view.
A former employee of AOL Time Warner comments.