May 2, 2005 12:42 PM PDT

Data for 600,000 Time Warner employees MIA

Personal information for 600,000 current and former Time Warner employees has been lost, the company announced on Monday, potentially setting the stage for one of the largest cases yet of identity theft.

Time Warner said the mishap occurred on March 22, when data storage company Iron Mountain was transporting its backup tapes to a storage facility away from its offices. The company lost the tapes while in transit, said Kathy McKiernan, a Time Warner spokeswoman.

"The tapes were discovered missing on the same day they were picked up," McKiernan said. "We launched an investigation, and when we could not rule out foul play, we contacted the (U.S.) Secret Service to investigate."

The Time Warner case is just the latest in a string of data theft cases to rock corporate America, from Bank of America to educational institutions such as the University of California at Berkeley.

Time Warner waited for more than a month before notifying current and past employees that their personal information may have been compromised.

"We didn't want to compromise the investigation," McKiernan said. "We determined we could notify people now without it impeding the investigation."

The media giant has set up an 800 number to answer past and current employees' questions and provide free credit monitoring for a year. A few days ago, the company began the process of encrypting its data.

To date, Time Warner says it has not received any notices of compromised personal information from current and former employees.


Join the conversation!
Add your comment
More corporate idiots
Here's a tip: Don't take lessons from Bank of America when it comes to data security!
Posted by Get_Bent (534 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But were they really stolen or just lost?
The Bank Of America tapes may still be sitting around somewhere gathering dust because they got routed wrong and it may be the same case for these records too. Only time will tell and maybe not even then, if the person who eventually finds them doesn't put two and two together and contacts the right people we may never know.

OTOH, if they were truly stolen then we may also eventually see the results of whatever was taken (unless the thief just wanted the media and ignores the current content).
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
there's no excuse
why only one hard copy??? why not a hard copy at the location and another sent in for archival purposes? it makes no sense to put all your eggs in one basket. i think the employees should file a suit against time warner (and those like it) for lost information and incompetence.
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Fire Molly Wood
Fire Molly Wood.
Posted by montgomeryburns (109 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not that is makes any differance.....
I personally would have appreciated some idea from CNET as to where this was supposed to have happened.

I deal with Iron Mountain and TimeWarner, both in indirect ways.

Where was this?
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Reply Link Flag

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot



RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.