Breach, Data Security

Godiva notifies employees of stolen laptop containing their data


Chocolate maker Godiva is notifying an undisclosed number of employees that a suitcase containing a laptop was stolen from the rental car of a human resources employee and their personal information – including Social Security numbers – could be at risk.

How many victims? Undisclosed. Godiva did not immediately respond to a request for the information.

What type of personal information? The nature of the information varied with regard to different employees, but included names, addresses, driver's license numbers and Social Security numbers.

What happened? A suitcase containing a laptop, which stored the personal information, was stolen from the rental car of a human resources employee.

What was the response? Law enforcement and Godiva were immediately notified once the human resources employee was aware that the suitcase was missing from the rental car. Godiva has conducted a comprehensive review of practices, policies and procedures, and is enhancing staff education regarding the safeguarding of company property and information. The company is implementing enhanced security measures to prevent a similar incident from happening again, including whole disk encryption for laptops of employees who have authorized access to confidential information. All affected employees are being notified, and offered a free year of credit monitoring services.

Details: Godiva learned of the theft on Oct. 16. The stolen suitcase contained the human resources employee's personal items, as well as a laptop provided to the employee by Godiva. The laptop required a password to log-in, but the hard drive was not encrypted.

Quote: “Godiva has no reason to believe that the thief knew the laptop was in the suitcase, and we have not received any reports of misuse,” Lisa Fedorchak, senior director of North America human resources, wrote in the notification.

Source:, “Master Notification Letter,” Nov. 26, 2014.

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