1/18/2008

Data Lost on 650,000 Credit Card Holders

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Personal information on about 650,000 customers of J.C. Penney and up to 100 other retailers could be compromised after a computer tape went missing. GE Money, which handles credit card operations for Penney and many other retailers, said Thursday night that the missing information includes Social Security numbers for about 150,000 people.

The information was on a backup computer tape that was discovered missing last October. It was being stored at a warehouse run by Iron Mountain Inc., a data storage company, and was never checked out but can’t be found either, said Richard C. Jones, a spokesman for GE Money, part of General Electric Capital Corp.

Jones said there was “no indication of theft or anything of that sort,” and no evidence of fraudulent activity on the accounts involved.

Iron Mountain spokesman Dan O’Neill said it would take specialized skills for someone to glean the personal data from the tape. He said the company regretted losing the tape, “but because of the volume of information we handle and the fact people are involved, we have occasionally made mistakes.”

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