Chase throws data on 2.6 million customers in landfill



Chase Card services mistakenly threw out backup tapes that contained the card information of around 2.6 million customers (according to the article Circuit City card holders (former and current.)) 5 data tapes were mistakenly trashed in July. Fortunately, they think the tapes were destroyed at the landfill, and are 1)notifying the affect, 2)working with authorities. So, it may be that no data in this case was actually leaked… it does underscore one thing….


Identity theft is NOT just a risk of those that do transactions online. I heard a report on the radio this evening. They talked about a woman who had discovered a large number of credit card purchases that she was not responsible for. The official advice that was given “don’t give out your card number to others and don’t shop online.” I was a bit agitated at that advice because of stories like the above…. stories like that of the VA and their stolen laptop, stories that I could go on ticking off where a company lost the data and it was NOT THE CUSTOMERS FAULT.

Sure, shopping online can increase your risk, so can shopping in the real world. Card readers are small enough for someone to hold in the palm of the hand when they take your card to run it at the register. In fact, I know of a local story where JUST THAT happened at a restaurant in the area. Many people discovered credit card charges in Mexico on their statements… the restaurant was the common theme and a few individuals, it turned out, would swipe the cards on the way back to the register to retrieve the card information, then process the transaction as normal.

Let’s face it, it’s NOT the customers fault for many cases of identity theft and we should give advice to businesses on how to deal with it as well as consumers.

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