Nikon: Customer information mistakenly released on Web site

September 14, 2006

Associated Press

Personal information on more than 3,200 subscribers of a magazine published by Nikon Inc. was available on a Web site before the breach was discovered, the imaging company said Thursday.

Details including names, addresses and credit card numbers for 3,235 people could be seen over a nine-hour period on a Web site for Nikon World magazine, but only nine new subscribers gained access to the information, the company said.

Workers at an Alabama camera store told the Montgomery Advertiser they discovered the problem Wednesday morning as one of them tried to subscribe to the magazine, which is published quarterly.

"That just can't happen. With ID theft, with all the theft of personal data, you just can't make mistake like this," Michael Nimmer, retail manager at Capitol Filmworks, told the newspaper. "Customers will leave you and go to other places."

Nimmer said a worker found pages and pages of personal data by clicking on a Web link included in an e-mail from Nikon World.

Nikon said the disclosure resulted from a problem with an external vendor. The company said it had contacted all the subscribers whose information was revealed, plus the nine new subscribers who were able to view it.

Magazine subscriber Darryl Spaulding of Eufaula said Nikon had offered him a two-year subscription instead of the one-year deal he signed up for, "plus some other things" for his personal information being revealed.

"I've contacted my credit card company and they're monitoring the company. So far everything is OK," he said.

Nikon said everyone whose information was accessible had signed up for the magazine since Jan. 1.

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