sateesh.narahari at gmail.com
Mon Jun 6 13:53:56 PDT 2005
It somehow mankes me feel ok that its not just my Digital camera that
UPS has lost over last week.
Citigroup says UPS loses data
By Jonathan Stempel 1 hour, 7 minutes ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C - news) on Monday said
computer tapes containing account and payment history data, including
Social Security numbers, on 3.9 million customers were lost by United
Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE:UPS - news)
The disappearance is the latest in a series of reported data breaches
involving U.S. companies, including Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC -
news) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX - news)
New York-based Citigroup said UPS, the world's biggest package
carrier, lost the tapes while shipping them to an Experian credit
bureau in Texas.
The tapes covered CitiFinancial branch network customers and about
50,000 customers with closed accounts from CitiFinancial Retail
Services. Customers of CitiFinancial Auto and CitiFinancial Mortgage
Citigroup, the world's biggest bank, on Saturday mailed a letter to
customers about the problem. It said it has received no reports of
unauthorized activity, and said there is "little risk" of the accounts
"We were moving this using an enhanced security procedure we specified
and developed with (UPS)," said Kevin Kessinger, president of
Citigroup's North America consumer finance unit, in an interview. "You
can imagine how frustrated and disappointed we are that this
Norman Black, a spokesman for Atlanta-based UPS, said "we sincerely
regret that in this case we have not been able to find this package.
We did conduct an exhaustive search."
Black said UPS is cooperating with Citigroup, and will "do everything
we can to make sure this doesn't happen again."
In February, Bank of America said computer tapes containing data for
some 1.2 million U.S. government employees, including U.S. senators,
Time Warner, the world's biggest media company, in May said outside
storage company Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE:IRM - news) lost computer
backup tapes containing data on 600,000 current and former employees.
New Jersey authorities said they made several arrests this year over a
scheme to steal records of hundreds of thousands of customers at Bank
of America, Wachovia Corp. (NYSE:WB - news), PNC Financial Services
Group Inc. (NYSE:PNC - news) and Commerce Bancorp Inc. (NYSE:CBH -
Other companies to suffer recent data breaches include ChoicePoint
Inc. (NYSE:CPS - news) and Reed Elsevier Plc's (ELSN.AS) (REED.L)
SECRET SERVICE INVOLVED
Citigroup said its missing tapes were shipped from Weehawken, New
Jersey, on May 2. It said it first learned of a possible problem on
May 20 when Experian called to request a tracking number.
The bank said Experian and UPS advised it on May 24 that they could
not locate the tapes. Citigroup said it notified the U.S. Secret
Service on May 27 after an internal investigation. That agency did not
immediately return a call seeking comment.
Asked if Citigroup plans to keep using UPS, Debby Hopkins, Citigroup's
chief operations and technology officer, in an interview said "we are
evaluating that, and any remaining shipments we have with any of our
Nick Akerman, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP who represents
companies whose data are lost, said: "If you're Citigroup, you'd want
to ask if UPS is the proper way to deliver such information, and
whether you should be using private deliverers to transport sensitive
Akerman does not represent Citigroup, but said some of his account
data at the bank might have been lost.
CitiFinancial is inviting customers to enroll via a toll-free number,
1-888-469-8603, in a free credit monitoring service for 90 days. It
said it earlier enrolled the customers in a separate service to help
prevent identity theft.
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