Ameriprise Financial, a financial planning firm that used to be part of American Express, had a laptop with the financial information of 230,000 customers and employees stolen. According to a press release, the laptop was stolen out of an employee’s parked car. All of the data was unencrypted.
The laptop contained names and internal account numbers for 158,000 of the company’s customers. No other personal information about customers such as Social Security numbers or addresses were on the laptop, however 70,000 of Amerprise’s employees were more deeply affected. For them, their names and Social Security numbers were stored on the laptop. Ameriprise is offering to pay for one year of credit monitoring for those employees.
Ameriprise says a boot-up password protected the laptop, but adds that the data residing on the hard-drive was not encrypted. This allows any computer saavy thief to simply copy the data files to their own computer.
Ameriprise used to be the old American Express Financial Serivces Group. It was spun off last year into a separate company.
The employee who lost the laptop has been fired.