Data goes missing at Connecticut bank

Tape contains personal information of about 90,000 People's Bank clients. So far, no identity fraud reported.

Joris Evers
Joris Evers Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Joris Evers covers security.
2 min read
A tape with confidential data on about 90,000 customers of a Connecticut bank has been lost, putting the bank's clients at risk of identity fraud.

Bridgeport, Conn.-based People's Bank on Thursday said it is notifying all affected customers. The tape was lost while being transported by United Parcel Service to credit reporting bureau TransUnion.

The incident is the latest in a string of reported data security breaches, many of which are being reported by companies to comply with state notification laws. Earlier this week, a major Bahamas resort said information on more than 50,000 guests had been exposed to possible identity theft.

Since February of last year, about 53 million personal records have been exposed in dozens of incidents, according to information compiled by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

The data on the missing People's Bank tape includes names, addresses, Social Security numbers and checking account numbers of customers who have a People's Bank personal credit line, the bank said in a statement. Such a credit line offers protection against overdrafts on a personal checking account, the bank said.

Information on the missing tape, however, is not sufficient to allow unauthorized access to customers' accounts, People's Bank said. The tape does not contain information on checking account balances, debit card numbers, personal identification numbers or birth dates. The computer tape cannot be read without sophisticated mainframe equipment and software, the bank said. People's Bank did not specify whether the data was encrypted.

The company also said it has no reason to believe that the data has been used inappropriately and that it has not received any reports of unauthorized activity.

Affected customers will receive one year of credit monitoring service from People's Bank. Such a service lets individuals respond to possible fraudulent activity and protect their credit rating.

One of Connecticut's largest banks, People's Bank has assets of $11 billion and operates more than 153 branches across the state.