10,000 Employees' Data on Stolen Laptop

October 17, 2007

Associated Press


The Home Depot Inc. said Wednesday that a laptop computer containing about 10,000 employees' personal data was stolen from a regional manager's car in Massachusetts.

The computer, which was password protected, didn't contain any customer information, said Ron DeFeo, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement store chain. He would not say whether the information had been encrypted.

The regional manager recently reported that the laptop was stolen from his car while it was parked outside his home, DeFeo said. He declined to name the town where the theft occurred. Police were investigating.

The laptop contained names, home addresses and Social Security numbers of certain Home Depot employees, most in the Northeast, DeFeo said.

"We have no reason to believe that the data contained on the laptop was the target of theft, or that any personal information was accessed or used improperly," DeFeo said.

Home Depot, which has about 350,000 employees, notified the 10,000 affected workers of the theft in a letter and was arranging free credit-monitoring services for them.

The manager violated company policy by leaving a laptop with personal information in his car, DeFeo said. He wouldn't say whether the employee was disciplined.

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