No Brownie points after thief makes off with Denver-area Girl Scouts personal data

Where did the breach take place? Girl Scouts Mile Hi Council of Denver.

How many victims? About 49,000 Girl Scout members, many ages 5 to 18.

What kind of personal information? Names, addresses, telephone numbers, emergency contact information, place of employment, parent's workplace, school names, ages, custodial care information, ethnicity and camp and meeting locations. A separate file contained a limited number - 1,000 or fewer - of Social Security and credit card numbers.

What happened? A thief broke into a car containing back-up tapes that were planning to be transported to a storage facility.

What was the response? The council is notifying those parties whose Social Security and credit numbers were contained in the tapes.

Details: Police have advised the council that they do not believe the thief targeted the data considering he or she also stole change and sunglasses, not the sign of a "sophisticated" criminal. Authorities believe the suspect stole a carrying case containing the tapes because he or she thought it contained a laptop. Also, accessing the data on the tapes requires specific knowledge and equipment. Still, the council plans to review its security policies in an attempt to prevent a similar incident in the future.

Quote: "It looks very opportunistic in nature," council spokeswoman Amanda Kalina said of the theft.

Source: "Statement about stolen computer back-up tapes," Girl Scouts Mile Hi Council website, June 29; interview, July 11.

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