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06/06/2005 Archived Entry: "CitiGroup loses data on 3.9 million customers"


New York-based Citigroup said the data were stored on computer tapes, and lost while UPS, the world's biggest package carrier, was shipping them to an Experian credit bureau in Texas.

The tapes, which also contained Social Security numbers, covered CitiFinancial Branch Network customers and about 50,000 customers with closed accounts from CitiFinancial Retail Services. Customers of CitiFinancial Auto and CitiFinancial Mortgage are unaffected.

Citigroup 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 being compromised.

Most fascinating of all, CitiGroup claims the tapes were being moved using "an enhanced security procedure" worked out with UPS. But:

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.

An enhanced security procedure in which priceless data on individuals can be missing for up to 18 days without anybody being aware there's a problem??? Criminy, that sounds more like government security!

Also worth noting: It appears that all this customer data was put at risk in the first place solely because CitiGroup was selling it to a third party.

(Thanks to Mystery Woman.)

Posted by Claire @ 02:38 PM CST

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