Data for 200,000 Marriott Customers Missing

The timeshare unit of Marriott International Inc. (MAR) is notifying more than 200,000 people that their personal data are missing after backup computer tapes went missing from a Florida office.

The data relates to 206,000 employees, timeshare owners and timeshare customers of Marriott Vacation Club International, the company said in a statement Tuesday. The computer tapes were stored in Orlando, where the unit is based.

The company did not say when the tapes disappeared. They contained Social Security numbers, bank and credit card numbers, according to letters the company began sending customers on Saturday.

Over the past year, a series of personal data breaches affected high-profile companies including Citigroup Inc. (C), Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and DSW Shoe Warehouse. The incidents have spurred calls for greater security and highlighted the perils of identity theft.

Vacation club officials reported the missing data to authorities and began their own investigation into the tapes' disappearance, according to the statement. MVCI planned to search for the tapes, to determine how they disappeared and monitor accounts for any unusual activity or possible misuse, spokesman Ed Kinney said.

The company offered those affected by the data loss a chance to enroll in a credit monitoring service without charge.

Company officials were not available for comment late Tuesday.

"We regret this situation has occurred and realize this may cause concern for our associates and customers," MVCI President Stephen P. Weisz said in the statement.