Alcatel-Lucent workers' info missing
A computer disk containing personal information on thousands of Lucent
employees and retirees has been missing for at least 10 days,
Alcatel-Lucent said Thursday.
A vendor informed the company May 7 that the disk could not be
located, Alcatel-Lucent said in a prepared statement.
The disk includes names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth
dates and salary data for U.S. employees who worked for Lucent and
their family members and Lucent retirees and their dependents, the
company said. It said the disk did not contain credit card numbers or
bank account information.
The telecommunications equipment maker sent an e-mail to employees
Thursday informing them of the potential security breach and said it
was preparing a mailing to employees, retirees and their dependents to
explain the situation. In addition, the company said it will provide
the individuals at risk with identity theft protection and credit
monitoring for one year free of charge.
"We recognize that we have a responsibility to carefully protect this
type of information and deeply regret the loss," Frank D'Amelio, chief
administrative officer for Alcatel-Lucent, said in a statement. "We
are taking steps to prevent this from happening in the future. In the
meantime, we will provide information and assistance to our employees
and retirees to help them minimize any potential risk this incident
could create for them."
Alcatel-Lucent was formed in December when Paris-based Alcatel SA
acquired Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent Technologies Inc. for $11.6
The company did not say how many people could be affected by the
situation, but the combined company has more than 20,000 employees in
the United States. A spokesman for the Lucent Retirees Organization
told The Star-Ledger of Newark that there are more than 180,000 Lucent
retirees and dependents.
The disk was prepared by Hewitt Associates, which handles Lucent's
health and pension benefits, in Bridgewater for delivery to another of
the company's vendors, insurer Aon Corp., in Somerset.
"It appears that the disk was either lost or stolen between April 5
and May 3," Alcatel-Lucent said in its statement.
A spokesman for Aon, Al Orendorff, told the Star-Ledger that his
company got the package in early May, but no disk was in it. A Hewitt
spokeswoman referred questions to Alcatel-Lucent.
Alcatel-Lucent said it has launched an internal investigation and
notified state and local law enforcement officials as well as the U.S.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.
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