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Monday, June 06, 2005

Data Leaks: Déjà Vu All Over Again

Citigroup Déjà vu.  All over again.  And again.  Yet another data security break, as if the scores of breaches announced earlier weren't already enough.  A short while ago, I posted about a tally of the security breaches indicating that the personal data of over 5 million people had been leaked or improperly accessed.  Now this, from the AP:

CitiFinancial, the consumer finance division of Citigroup Inc., said Monday it has begun notifying some 3.9 million U.S. customers that computer tapes containing information about their accounts -- including Social Security numbers and payment histories -- have been lost.

Citigroup, which is based in New York, said the tapes were lost by the courier UPS Inc. in transit to a credit bureau.

That puts the tally at over 8 million people.  Something is seriously wrong with the way personal data is maintained and used.  Back in 2004, I wrote in my book: "Companies collect and maintain our information; they often use it for a myriad of new purposes; and they are frequently careless about the security of our data."  It would be nice to say that I was making a profound point, but it was an obvious observation -- even back before the news of all the data leaks.   Hopefully, lawmakers will recognize it as obvious now.

Posted by Daniel Solove on June 6, 2005 at 04:01 PM in Daniel Solove, Information and Technology | Permalink

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