Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Another Stolen Ernst Laptop Exposes 243,000 Hotels.com Clients

Another-Stolen-Ernst-Laptop-Exposes-243,000-Hotels.com-Clients audio post - click to play

In what has now sadly become a perverse re-occurring case of
the "stolen" laptop, 243,000 Hotels.com, a subsidiary of Expedia.com,
clients personal information has been exposed to identity theft.

It seems the auditor, Ernest & Young, was again the victim of
what it claimed to be another "random" act of theft when a
laptop was stolen from the auditor's locked car in February.

The sensitive consumer information which was stolen included
unencrypted transactional data from 2004:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Credit card information

Ernst & Young waited for months, from the apparent theft in
February, to the just recent disclosure to Hotels.com resulting
in the public announcement.

Understand we are not picking on Ernst & Young as a company,
yet this latest incident adds to the total number of "stolen"
laptops from "random" theft to an unbelieveable five (5)
reported within the past year.

Why did E&Y wait for 3 months before disclosing news
of the theft
to their client?

Given the frequency and severity of the laptops being stolen
from a single auditing firm, it causes one to question who's
monitoring the auditors? Why are they allowed to continue putting
American's financial well being at an unacceptable risk? - a risk
the auditors themselves would never put themselves at personally
with their own firm's finances.

Is it any wonder, given E&Y's recent shoddy performance in securing
highly sensitive consumer information, that identity theft continues
to grow out of control with seemingly no end in sight?

Offering free credit monitoring and issuing public announcements
of "sorry" after the fact of repeated self induced security
simply does not solve the larger problem of insuring
identity theft prevention by tougher data transportation &
encryption practices by the auditors entrusted with that data.

The net result of this E&Y case, as in many others we have reviewed
the past few years, is big business could really care less about
securing your personal data when they understand there is
no punitive
measures in place to force better protection of
consumer data. You are on your o-w-n for protection.

Want to take back control - especially before identity theft
happens to you?

Our tip for today, is to protect you and your family's
future from identity thieves or simply
careless corporate employees
who allow your sensitive
personal, unencrypted information to be stolen.

Enroll in credit monitoring and just as important, but so often
overlooked, get your public data profile to catch the even
more hidden identity theft NOT tracked by credit
but can
very well land you in jail or
you suddenly to lose your job.


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