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IBM loses tapes with employee data

The computers tapes--some of which were not encrypted--were lost when they fell out of a contractor's vehicle while being transported to another IBM facility.

IBM, one of the leading companies providing services to help manage and protect data, has apparently lost computer tapes containing personal information about its employees.

The tapes were being transported between IBM facilities in Westchester County, N.Y., on February 23 when they fell out of a contractor's vehicle. An IBM spokesman told the Associated Press that company representatives went to the scene of the loss but could not locate the tapes, which contained information mostly on former employees.

The loss of the tapes came to light recently when the company's human resources department mailed letters to the affected workers to inform them of the loss of data "such as your Social Security number number, your dates of employment with IBM, birth date, contact information such as your address, and your IBM work history," the AP reported. Big Blue even took out an ad in the local paper seeking the tapes' return.

The company would not reveal how many tapes were missing or how many employees were affected, but did say not all of the tapes were encrypted. The spokesman told AP that there was no evidence that the information on the tapes had been exploited, but the company has offered affected employees a year of credit-monitoring services.