The stories of data and security breaches are becoming way to commonplace these past few months, from JPMorgan Chase to Apple’s iCloud services. It seems our data is a high value target and companies are struggling to keep it protected. Businessweek is reporting that an AT&T employee gained access to the private data of around 1600 users – including social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and all information AT&T had on the users services. AT&T has notified the affected parties and has said the employee in question has left the company.
“We take our customers’ privacy very seriously and value the trust they have in us,” Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T, wrote in an e-mailed statement. “Unfortunately, we recently learned that one of our employees did not follow our strict privacy rules and inappropriately obtained some customer information. This individual no longer works at AT&T and we are directly contacting the limited number of affected customers.”
It’s one thing to have good passwords and two-step authentication, but it’s another matter when the hacker already has access to a company’s internal information. AT&T is trying to downplay the severity of the situation by pointing out that this affected a “limited number” of customers, but it shows that the company dropped the ball somewhere in its processes. With privacy and security a growing concern for many around the world, we hope these companies start implementing changes in the way they secure our data from hackers – both inside and out.
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