Starbucks Loses Laptops Holding Personal Info of 60,000 Employees

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Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) said Friday it had lost track of four laptop computers, two of which had private information on about 60,000 current and former U.S. employees and fewer than 80 Canadian workers and contractors.

The data, which include names, addresses and Social Security numbers, is about three years old, dating prior to December 2003, said Valerie O'Neil, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based coffee retailer.

The company has not received any reports that anyone's personal information has been compromised.

"We have no reason to believe these laptops are in the hands of someone who wants to misuse them," O'Neil said. "We just want to make every effort to protect our partners."

O'Neil said Starbucks was in the process of notifying those affected, including an estimated 8 percent of the current work force.

In a statement on its Web site, Starbucks said it has been looking for the laptops since early last month after discovering they were missing from a closet in the corporate support center at its south Seattle headquarters.

The company is offering free credit protection services to anyone with personal data believed to be on the missing computers, O'Neil said.

"We are currently reinforcing our corporate policies and updating procedures related to the protection of personal data in an effort to ensure that this type of incident does not occur in the future," O'Neil said in a statement.