Ex-Coke worker stole laptops with data of up 74,000 staff

A former Coca-Cola (KO) employee stole laptops from the company that contained the unencrypted personal data of as many as 74,000 workers, contractors and suppliers.

The information included Social Security numbers, compensation and ethnicity.

Coke has retrieved the computers and told its staff that it has "no indication" that the data has been misused.

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Comments (5)
  • jhawkinstx
    , contributor
    Comments (78) | Send Message
    Ten years ago, this story would have been told around the water cooler and not in front of the entire world......it would have gone something like this " Fred took the laptop home with the HR spreadsheet on it.....he brought it back today...... Should we try out that new coffee joint called Starbucks after work today?"
    26 Jan 2014, 06:54 AM Reply Like
  • intellectual property police
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    The employee didn't take it home and bring it back the next day. He stole it. It had lots of confidential data on it. Maybe even information on you Jhawk.


    Don't underestimate the abuse that goes on with this data. Additionally if there was any abuse of the data it might be very hard to even know. We often here how computers are stolen and rarely hear anyone be able to detect what has happened to the data much less have a company admit to it and thus expose itself to lawsuits.


    Down playing the significance of these things is a big mistake.
    26 Jan 2014, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • 310lowermatecumbe
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
    Ten years ago you were still clueless! The stealing of computer equipment is a crime in itself. Stolen personal data causes great financial and psychological damage. The act of removing laptops containing large amounts of personal data from secure locations to unprotected sites such carry at least 10 year penalties.
    28 Jan 2014, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • Atlantajuice
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Agree, the issue is very serious. I don't have an answer but the ease of communicating is way ahead of the thinking required to keep the data safe. Not sure we really know where our data is...maybe the answer short term is don't trust the "systems" that are not in place.
    26 Jan 2014, 07:55 PM Reply Like
  • RetireIT
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Atlantajuice, you are correct. Employee theft of retired computers is the most overlooked aspects of data security. Insiders (usually IT staff) take retired assets that supposed to be handed to a disposal vendor for proper processing.


    The answer is what I refer to as "reverse procurement"...If an organization purchased 100 laptops, but only received 99, procurement professionals would demand accountability. That same organization should demand at least the same level of accountability when it retires the 100 laptops, particularly when protected data is involved.


    Kyle Marks
    CEO, Retire-IT
    28 Jan 2014, 11:19 AM Reply Like
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