Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mainframe tape containing my own data reported lost

Well, “it’s happened”. I received a form letter from a “Shareowner Services” company stating that one of its disaster recovery vendors could not account for a bin of backup tapes that may have contained my personal information. The loss apparently happened in February 2008.

I won’t name the companies here (because I don’t, in sight of search engines, name entities that I do business with when discussing mishaps or issues).

I was given an access code to subscribe to a free credit monitoring service. The website is and the credit monitoring company turns out to be Experian (which was spun off from TRW after acquiring Chilton). The company also has a web link to state the status of any known incidents from the data loss, and as of today there have been none.

We’re in a different world, from the last big period of my own mainframe information technology career, leading up to Y2K, where employees tested with production data and kept listings and tapes around as proofs of tests. But during that period, even only ten years ago, there was nothing like the concern there is now for consumer id security.

I’ve had a credit card number misused once, in 1995. The card was rejected in a supermarket and the company called me the next day. I had about $300 in Canadian phone charges reversed.

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