Laptop Lifted From Data Provider's Office

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 07-24-2006

Tack on another case in what seems to be an epidemic of laptop thefts and losses: Wolters Kluwer, a Dutch business information publisher, earlier this month informed U.S. employees that a laptop with data on 8,500 current and former workers was stolen from a payroll department office over Memorial Day weekend.

In a letter to employees dated July 11, Mark Sherman, chief human-resources officer of Wolters Kluwer in North America, said the company discovered on May 29 that a laptop and docking station had been taken from a locked, private office in Torrance, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles.

The PC contained "personal employee information"--including addresses, Social Security numbers, and some health plan and premium information--for Wolters Kluwer's approximately 8,000 North America employees, as well as about 500 employees who have recently left the company. Wolters Kluwer has about 18,500 employees worldwide.

In addition, the letter said the laptop may have included bank account information for 600 employees who joined the company since Jan. 1.

Wolters Kluwer, whose North American headquarters is in Riverwoods, Ill., says it "promptly notified" law enforcement officials and says it has no evidence that any of the information has been accessed or used by unauthorized parties. Still, it has offered employees access to identity-protection services from Equifax, a credit reporting bureau.

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