Breach, Data Security

Nielsen staffer accidentally sends mass email containing employee data


An undisclosed number of Nielsen Audio employees are being notified that their personal information – including Social Security numbers – may be at risk after an employee with human resources mistakenly sent out a mass email containing the data.

How many victims? Undisclosed, but Nielsen Audio employed 1,625 individuals in December 2011. 

What type of personal information? Names and Social Security numbers are among the information.

What happened? A Nielsen Audio employee in the human resources department mistakenly emailed the file containing the information to other Nielsen Audio employees, who then - without knowing its contents - forwarded the email containing the file to others within the Nielsen environment.

What was the response? Nielsen searched for, found, and deleted all copies and forwarded copies of the email. All impacted individuals are being notified and offered one free year of identity theft protection services.

Details: The Nielsen human resources employee sent out the email on Dec. 1, 2013. All copies of the email were deleted on Dec. 3, 2013.

Quote: “There is no indication that the attachment was ever printed, downloaded, or forwarded outside of the Nielsen environment,” James Cuminale, chief legal officer with Nielsen, wrote in the notification letter.

Source:, “Nielsen letter to Consumers,” Feb. 3, 2014.

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