IBM has lost a hard drive containing the records of 180,000 clients of an insurance company. Details include "names, addresses, beneficiaries, social insurance numbers, pension values, pre-authorized checking information and mothers' maiden names", according to wire reports. Anything else? Oh yes, their bank account details.
But is it carelessness, or is it theft? No-one knows yet, but the hard-drive was stored in a supposedly secure facility in Regina, SK, at ISM Canada, an IBM subsidiary.
Local police and the RCMP (the Mounties) are investigating. Meanwhile, Co-operators General Insurance Co. has sent a letter to 180K clients this week, warning them of the possibility of identity theft.
And worse could be yet to come: ISM Canada has admitted that the hard drive contains records from other clients. But it won't say who. So let the Toronto Star fill in some of the gaps:
The Saskatchewan government has confirmed the missing hard drive contained many crucial files.
Workers' Compensation Board records, thousands of public servant pension statements, bulk fuel rebate applications, SaskPower billings, doctor pay lists and physician service data are on the missing hard drive. ®