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JPMorgan customer data dumped in rubbish bags, claims union

01 May 2007  |  7434 views  |  0 rubbish

A US workers union claims to have found personal financial data belonging to JPMorgan Chase customers dumped in rubbish bags outside five branches in New York.

The Service Employees International Union has posted a video on YouTube that purports to show the discovery of the personal data - including social security numbers, bank account details balances and numbers - in plastic bin bags outside JPMorgan Chase branches in Chinatown, Queens, the Upper East Side and in two Brooklyn locations.



The union is currently locked in a dispute with the bank over organsing of security guards. It says the video footage raises concerns over identity theft for the bank's customers.

The veracity of the footage and the union's allegations have not been independently substantiated.

JPMorgan spokesman Tom Kelly says that the bank is looking into the matter. He says the bank's policy is to throw documents containing personal data into locked bins. The documents are then taken and shredded.

In August last year, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office - which enforces the Data Protection Act in the country - said it was investigating claims that high street bank NatWest allegedly dumped customers data in an outside rubbish bin.

The investigation was later widened to include HSBC and the Post Office.

In a separate development, a computer tape containing account data and social security numbers for thousands of JPMorgan Chase clients in the Chicago area, as well as some of the bank's own staff, has gone missing.

According to a Wall Street Journal report the tape - which was in a locked container - was being transported from a bank location to an off-site facility last month when it went missing.

The tape contained information from the bank's private-client business - which provides services to clients with a net worth of between $1 million and $25 million - as well as data belonging to JPMorgan employees. Some 47,000 accounts are thought to be affected.

A bank spokesman told reporters that there is no indication that data has been used inappropriately.

In letters to clients, the bank has stated that the data on the tape can't be read without special equipment, says the WSJ report.

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