Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Tracking impact of computer thefts and break-ins on privacy

OnlyPunjab.com is carrying what appears to be an advertorial for PC Guardian that reports that computer thefts and break-ins in North America for 2003/04 resulted in the compromise of information for 2.5 million North Americans. (No word on how many Punjabi identities were compromised.) Regardless of the source, it is an interesting read:

North America's "October Surprise" - 2.5 Million Personal Electronic Records Stolen in 2004 Due to Computer Thefts:

"For instance, in the last 12 months PC Guardian has identified the following thefts:

  1. Officials for the Ohio Democratic Party announced the theft of three computers, including a server that contained the local party's financial information, names and personal phone numbers of hundreds of party members, candidates and volunteers.
  2. The Republican Party campaign headquarters in Washington state announced the theft of three laptops with confidential Bush-Cheney campaign information.
  3. Reynolds Cancer Support Center officials warned clients that a server containing personal health information was stolen from its Fort Smith, Ark., office.
  4. A Lake Forest, Calif., direct mail marketing company reported the theft of a server containing personal financial records of more than 100,000 credit union customers in the western United States.
  5. First Option Financial reported the theft of thousands of personal financial records when computers were stolen from its office in Houston, Texas.
  6. Wells Fargo & Company lost more than 200,000 customer financial records when two laptops were stolen, one in California, the other in Texas.
  7. Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), in Arlington, Virginia, reported the theft of computers containing financial data on thousands of customers from United Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, Delta Airlines and American Airlines.
  8. Kern County Mental Health Office lost 110,000 personal Medicare records when a laptop was stolen from its Bakersfield, Calif. office."

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