Oops: Outsourcing Firm Loses Google Staff Data

Number of affected employees undisclosed

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All the engineering acumen in the world, or at least in the Googleplex, can’t prevent an old-fashioned burglary of unencrypted employee data held by an outside firm.

A failing company also failed to adequately keep its assets protected from theft. Colt Express Outsourcing Services lost some data to a Memorial Day burglary, and it’s now come to light that the dominant search engine formerly used that company’s services.

Unfortunately for Google, and for CNET employees also affected by the theft, a report at CNET noted employees from both firms were in the same boat. “No credit card numbers were in the stolen data; just names, addresses, SSNs–all the information needed for a thief to open a credit card account under another’s name,” the report said.

An ex-Google staffer, Danny Thorpe, blew the whistle on the Google data loss. Employees hired before the end of December 2005 at Google may now have their personally identifiable information skating around places like the forums favored by identity thieves and traders.

Colt doesn’t appear to be the best managed firm in the world, either. CNET said the company is in financial trouble, with the company’s founder washing his hands of any potential assistance Colt might give affected individuals.

We’re betting Colt will be on the receiving end of more attention from Google, specifically the legal department. “We take the security of our employees very seriously and require outside vendors to meet appropriate security standards,” a Google rep told CNET.

Oops: Outsourcing Firm Loses Google Staff Data
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