Mumbai: GE Money, the US-based credit card issuer, has reported loss of computer data tape containing personal data of 650,000 customers of about 230 retailers, including J.C. Penney Co.
GE Money, a unit of General Electric Co, said a backup computer tape being stored at a facility operated by Iron Mountain Inc, an information protection and storage company, had been lost. The company said Social Security numbers of about 150,000 people were also included on the tape.
Reports quoting GE Money sources said many of the data includes those of some large national retailers as well as some smaller regional ones.
The security firm, however, said it had notified GE Money of the missing tape in October, and added that there has been no evidence suggesting that the identity of any person had been compromised.
The data was stored on a backup computer tape stored at a warehouse run by Iron Mountain Inc. That was found missing last October, and was never checked out but can't be found either, said a spokesman for GE Money.
"The tape was created in such a manner to make unauthorised access extremely unlikely and difficult, even for experts with specialised knowledge and technology." Iron Mountain said in a statement.
Iron Mountain said the company regretted losing the tape, "but because of the volume of information we handle and the fact people are involved, we have occasionally made mistakes."