Stolen Fidelity laptop contains data on 196,000 HP workers

Stolen Fidelity laptop contains data on 196,000 HP workers

US mutual fund manager Fidelity Investments says a laptop containing the personal financial data of 196,000 retirement account customers has been stolen.

The computer contains the names, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers, compensation and other information for Hewlett-Packard employees who are participants of company-sponsored retirement plans administered by Fidelity Investments.

The fund manager has sent e-mails and letters to the retirement plan participants notifying them that the laptop had been stolen on 15 March.

Fidelity spokeswoman Anne Crowley told reporters that there was no indication that any of the information had been misused. She says the firm has been monitoring activity in accounts since the theft and there is nothing to indicate there's any unusual or suspicious activity.

Details of where the theft occcured were not disclosed, although the laptop was not taken from a Fidelity or Hewlett-Packard building.

The incident is the latest in a spate of security breaches in the US. In January brokerage firm Ameriprise Financial reported that a laptop containing personal financial information on around 158,000 clients was stolen from an employee's vehicle.

In the same month a tape containing information on around 90,000 People's Bank customers went missing while in transit to a credit reporting bureau. Both CitiFinancial and ABN Amro "lost" customer data in similar incidents in the US last year.

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