Monday, November 06, 2006

Lost: 4 Starbucks laptops

Overpriced coffee purveyor Starbucks has joined a long, sad list of organizations that have lost laptops containing information on thousands of current and former employees. This time out, the damage is four laptops, two of which contained confidential data on 60,000 people.

No word on whether the laptops in question were garnished with low-fat foam and cost twice as much as anything else on the market.

Your turn: I know what I think whenever I hear about big companies compromising the privacy and security of clients and employees because they can't - or won't - adequately control how mobile devices like laptops are used. As an analyst, this is what I do. But what about you? Does this make your blood boil? Does a data breach of this nature prompt you to not do business with the company? Should it?

10 comments:

Karen said...

Geez, that's pretty bad that employee information could be kept on laptops that could so easily be lost or stolen. Shame on them. A big shame on them.

J said...

On the one hand I agree it is ridiculous that things get lost or stolen and that the company should be more responsible, but on the other hand, the thiefs are always one step ahead and no matter how hard people try to secure their belongings, the criminals find a better way to steal. How can we fight against that? It's one thing to run a business and protect yourself 100%, another to spend 100% of your time trying to think up good ways to steal things, and you only have to be right once to win.

Jennifer said...

I really don't like how companies collect so much info on us. I hate that most of the time I am powerless to do anything about it, like when my kids needs to see a dentist and they want social security numbers-it makes me mad, but then they will not see you. It is horrible that the company used laptops, they should know better by now.

Jenny in Ca

Uisce said...

OMG, I'm not worried about the people's personal information as much as I am about the recipes for those overpriced desserts -- if those get out, the fabric of space/time and coffee/pastry will be ruined!! :)

srp said...

I know that in the medical field they are not supposed to ask for your Social Security numbers, but...
- insurance companies use them to correctly identify you for payment
- it would be nice to have unique and individual hospital numbers for patients, however I know personally that these can be hard to keep track of...(one of the docs I worked with had at least two totally different hospital numbers) and medical records being accurate are SOOOOO important for your health.
- I've heard of the idea of having a computer chip implanted in your arm with your data and medical record on it. But that is getting a bit much for me, a little like the numbers tatooed on Hitler's victims.
So, I don't know the answer. It seems that technology has grown too fast, faster than the ability to secure it and not fast enough to outwit the criminal minds.

Terri said...

It's really unforgivable to lose data as companies do and I'm not sure what accounts for it...except carelessness.
Oh but, Carmi.....give up my Starbucks??? I can smell/spot one within 10 miles...'fraid I'll keep visiting.

Mother of Invention said...

Well, it is sad that we are diminished to just numbers and data, but that's the way of today's world so we have to realize that things will get stolen, even data.

(You have a distinct clever Air Farce tone to your writng here! Are you sure you don't write for them? Or maybe Rick Mercer?!!

Bulbboy said...

If we stopped giving companies our business every time they did something incompetent, pretty soon there would be no-one to buy from.

Jack's Shack said...

It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in so many companies.

Mrs. Fun said...

sad truth is, i don't know about these things. I live in a bubble untill i have time to blog.
I can't imagine why they can't keep a tighter reign on this info. makes no sense. I will continue to drink their overpriced coffee because i don't have to make it and they have a drive thru. Thats key when you have 4 kids and two of them are still in their jammies.