The retail finance division of Citigroup has admitted that a backup tape containing personal information on almost 4 million customers in the US has gone missing. The United Parcel Service lost the tape on May 2nd, and it hasn't been seen since. CitiFinancial only noticed the tape was missing on May 20. The tape contains Social Security numbers and transaction histories on both open and closed accounts at the bank’s lending branches in the US.
Citigroup says it has no reason to believe the tape has been stolen, but alarmingly, the tape hasn't shown up at any UPS depot despite six weeks of searching.
The company admitted that it doesn't use encryption on its electronic transmissions, nor explained why it took so long to notify the public.
Earlier this year a backup tape belonging to Ameritrade went astray, with personal information on 200,000 customers; Time Warner lost a tape containing information on 600,000 individuals, and Bank of America and Wachovia suffered a data breach affecting 100,000 customers each in May.
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