CHICAGO – A Boeing Co. (BA) laptop containing the names and Social Security numbers of 382,000 workers and retirees has been stolen, putting the employees at risk for identity theft and credit-card fraud.
The theft, which was confirmed Tuesday, was the third such incident at Boeing in just over a year.
Files on the computer also contained home addresses, phone numbers and birth dates. Some of the files listed salary information.
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"It's very disturbing to us when things like this happen, and there are certain steps you can take right away ... but we realize we need to go above and beyond those," said Tim Neale, a spokesman for Chicago-based Boeing.
The laptop was stolen earlier this month when an employee left it unattended, Neale said.
He would not reveal where the theft happened, but said no proprietary, customer or supplier data were on the computer.
The computer was turned off when it was stolen and a password is needed to log onto the desktop, Neale said Wednesday.
Boeing began contacting current and former employees Tuesday night, and it will provide credit-monitoring services for three years for those affected, Neale said.
There is no evidence that any of the previous thefts have resulted in wrongdoing, he said.
A Boeing laptop containing information on roughly 160,000 current and former employees was stolen in November 2005.
Then, in April, a laptop containing information on 3,600 employees and retirees was stolen.
Neale would not say whether any disciplinary action has been taken against the employee involved in the recent theft.
However, he acknowledged that in each of the incidents company policy was violated.
"It's frustrating because obviously you don't want to see this happen," he said.