IN FEBRUARY, Bank of America Corp. acknowledged that computer tapes with personal information on federal employees had been put on an airplane in December and then lost, putting 1.2 million people at risk of identity theft. In May, Time Warner Inc. announced that it had shipped similar information by truck and lost it, too, compromising data on 600,000 employees. The next month it emerged that a unit of Citigroup Inc. entrusted computer tapes with information on fully 3.9 million customers to United Parcel Service Inc.; the tapes never showed up at their destination. What's more, losing tapes in transit is only one way that companies can compromise personal data. In the most recent security failure, credit card companies admitted that hackers had penetrated the database of a payment-processing firm. As many as 40 million credit card numbers may have fallen into the hands of criminals.
Security breaches and violations of privacy are going to be the next speciality in crisis communications.
CardSystems Hit With Class Action Lawsuit
Adam Shostack concurs.