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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Computer Business News: Laptop with Sensitive HP Employee Data Stolen

Computer business mogul Hewlett-Packard suffered a potentially devastating issue last week when a laptop containing sensitive employee information was stolen from Fidelity Investments. The personal information, including social security numbers, names, addresses, dates of birth and other relevant employment information of 196,000 HP workers was stored on a laptop that was taken from an off-site meeting with a Fidelity Investments client.

Many are questioning why important information such as this was on a laptop at all. A Fidelity spokesperson sent an e-mailed statement asserting that the company typically doesn’t make it a habit of keeping information on laptops and limits the availability of such information to times when it is required for meetings with clients that involves the data directly.

Fidelity offers financial services to over 21 million people, and reports that it hasn’t found that the information about the computer business employees has been used inappropriately since the theft. The investment company also assures HP that there were safeguards to prevent problems in place. Spokespeople said that the application running the software was under a temporary license that has expired, and that the data would now be scrambled and difficult if not impossible to decipher or use. The company has engaged the support of law enforcement, and police are investigating and attempting to recover the laptop. Fidelity has also added extra security measures that require new and added authentication to gain access to the HP accounts in question.

Fidelity alleges it has worked with computer business HP to tell all employees affected by the theft about the issue, and that is has set up a phone line designed to give HP employees information and help. The company has also advised the three main credit reporting bureaus of the situation and is offering free credit monitoring through Fidelity to all affected employees. The company will also reimburse anything lost through unauthorized transactions.

The recent laptop theft is one of many that has caused concern in the computer business world about the state of data security recently and it has many companies worried about how they can protect the security of their most important information.

Created By: Joshua Feinberg