Car contractor blamed for fourth Pfizer breach

Wheels Inc., which provides cars for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, leaked personal information of the spouses and domestic partners of Pfizer employees on the internet.

What type of personal information? Names, addresses, birth dates, driver's license numbers.

How many victims? The spouses and domestic partners of about 1,800 Pfizer employees.

Details: Data was transmitted unencrypted over the internet when individuals responded to an online application on The application served as a background check to ensure the spouses of Pfizer employees could be cleared to drive leased company cars.

This is the fourth breach to impact Pfizer this year, exposing some 52,000 workers to the risk of identity theft. In September, the company reported that an employee removed confidential information from a company computer. Another incident involved file-sharing software while the other involved lost laptops.

What was the response? Wheels is offering two years of identity theft protection services, including credit monitoring. The company is also reviewing its systems to avoid a similar incident in the future.

Quote: "As soon as we realized what happened, we shut the site down." - Stratford Dick, managing director of Wheels.

Source: (The (Conn.) Day), Oct. 10, "Data breach No. 4 comes from outside Pfizer."

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