BP "leaks" data of 13,000 Gulf oil spill victims

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A BP employee lost a laptop containing the personal information of thousands of Louisiana residents who filed compensation claims after last year's devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

How many victims? 13,000.  

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers, phone numbers and addresses.

What happened? The laptop went missing on March 1 while the BP worker was traveling for work. Though the laptop was password protected, the information was not encrypted.

Details: The data included a spreadsheet of information about individuals who filed claims with BP before the Gulf Coast Claims Facility took over the processing of claims last August. There is no indication that the data has been misused.

What was the response? BP has mailed letters to affected individuals and offered them free credit monitoring services. The company has reported the missing laptop to law enforcement.

Source: The Denver Post, denverpost.com, “Lost BP laptop holds personal data of 13,000 oil-spill claimants,” March 30, 2011.

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