RealTime IT News

Time Warner Loses Employee Data

Media conglomerate Time Warner said Monday that a contracted data storage firm it uses to store computer back-up tapes containing current and former employee information had lost a shipment en-route to its facility.

The personal data of as many as 600,000 current and former employees of the company may have been lost, according to a report published by CNNMoney. CNNMoney is a Time Warner affiliate.

"We take the security of our employees' personal information extremely seriously and we deeply regret that this incident occurred," Larry Cockell, Time Warner's senior vice president and chief security officer, said in a statement.

"While we have no evidence to suggest the information on the tapes has been accessed or misused, we are providing current and former employees with resources to monitor their credit reports while our investigation continues. We are working closely and aggressively with law enforcement and the outside data storage firm to get to the bottom of this matter."

As part of its regular processes to protect computerized data, Time Warner has used the storage firm for "several years," to ship and store its computer back-up tapes offsite, according to the statement.

The tapes did not include personal data on Time Warner customers, the company said.

"The U.S. Secret Service is involved in an active investigation of this matter, working closely with Time Warner and the outside data-storage firm. To date, the investigation has not found any evidence that the tapes or their contents have been accessed or misused," the statement read.

Time Warner said it is notifying individuals whose information may have been on the missing tapes of this incident and of resources at their disposal to monitor their credit reports in the event of unusual activity.

The number of reported security breaches have been on the rise in recent months, with many high-profile companies reporting the loss of customers and clients personal data.

As previously reported by internetnews.com, information publisher information publisher Reed Elsevier up to 300,000 people's information had been exposed to scammers on its LexisNexis databases.

In February, credit-check company ChoicePoint announced it had unwittingly handed over the information of 145,000 people to thieves, and several incidents on university campuses last month exposed tens of thousands of records.