Personal information on 2.6 million past and current Circuit City (CC) credit card holders was mistakenly thrown out as trash, a division of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) said Thursday.

Chase Card Services said it mistakenly tossed out computer tapes with the personal information of Circuit City card holders. It said it believes the tapes, inside a locked box, were compacted, destroyed and buried in a landfill.

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"We deeply regret that this has occurred and apologize to those impacted," Chase Card Services Chief Executive Rich Srednicki said in a statement.

In the past year, several U.S. companies have reported lost or stolen personal data on customers and employees. One of the largest mishaps happened at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which said in May that data on 26.5 million veterans was stolen.

Chase said it has begun notifying customers and is monitoring affected accounts and has not identified any misuse of personal information. A free, one-year credit monitoring service is being offered to individuals whose social security number was on the thrown out tapes.

No other Chase accounts are involved in this incident, the bank said. Chase Card Services issues bank-branded and private-label credit cards for electronics retailer Circuit City.

"We certainly empathize with the affected cardholders, but this is a business that is administered by Chase," a Circuit City spokesman said.

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