From: TimeWarner Inc.The letter continues on for another page with instructions on how to place a fraud alert on one's credit file, and an offer for free credit protection ("The Equifax Credit Watch[tm] Gold with 3-in-1 Monitoring") for 90 days. It then continues:
For several years, as part of our company's regular processes to protect our computerized data, Time Warner has used a leading data storage firm to ship and store our computer back-up tapes offsite. I am writing to let you know that this outside firm recently lost a container of these back-up tapes during transport to one of its storage facilities.
The missing tapes contained company data including names and U.S. Social Security numbers of: current and former U.S.-based employees of Time Warner and its current and former affiliates (and U.S. citizens working for the company abroad); some of their dependents and beneficiaries; and certain other individuals who have provided services to the company.
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. We have now determined that public disclosure of this matter will not interfere with the investigation. To date, the investigation has not found any evidence that the tapes or their contents have been accessed or misused. In addition, the information on the tapes is in a form not easily accessed.
Time Warner takes the security of our employees' personal information very seriously and we deeply regret that this incident occurred. We are aggressively investigating this situation and are committed to staying in touch with you as the investigation unfolds. In addition, we have taken the following steps:
- First, we have posted a copy of this letter, a press release, Q&A and other information on our company's internal (link redacted) and external (www.timewarner.com/employeedatatapes) websites, and we will post updates, as appropriate, on those sites.
Third, we have contacted the major credit agencies - Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union - to let them know about this incident. While we have no evidence that information on the tapes has been compromised, given that the investigation is ongoing, you may want to take the precaution of placing a fraud alert on your credit file free of charge for 90 days. The notification alerts creditors to use additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name.
- Second, in the U.S. we have set up a special toll free number (redacted) to assist you with questions or concerns you may have relating to this incident.
If we become aware of any instance in which the information on the tapes may have been accessed or misused, we will alert you immediately of additional steps that can and should be taken.Now why does that not make me feel better?
Again, please know that we regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause you. Be assured that we are committed to continuing to take whatever steps are appropriate to protect confidential employee information. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
What does make me feel better is that my credit is so bad that if someone wants to try to buy something in my name, good luck to them - I don't even ask for a line of credit anymore, because the resulting derisive laughter upsets me.
Maybe if they steal my identity and get a card in my name, they'll keep up the payments and improve my credit.
Just no crime sprees, okay?