John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Google Makes Employee Information “Universally Accessible,” “Useful” to Data Thieves

How ironic. The personal data of some Google employees may be as “universally accessible” as the world of information Google claims it is its mission to organize.

Seems the personal data of Googlers hired prior to 2006 were stolen during a May 26 burglary at Colt Express Outsourcing Services, a financially troubled human resources outfit Google (GOOG) once used to administer employee benefits. The data, which astonishingly were not encrypted, thankfully did not include driver’s license, credit card or bank account numbers. It did, however, include employee names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, and addresses–everything an identity thief would need to open a credit card account under another’s name.

It’s unclear how many Googlers are affected by the breach, but it could be quite a few. CBS’s (CBS) CNET Networks was also affected by the burglary, with details from about 6,500 employees stolen.

“We take the security of our employees very seriously and require outside vendors to meet appropriate security standards. We review and update these standards on an ongoing basis,” a Google representative said. “Google is not currently using Colt’s services and had made this decision long before this incident.”

If that’s the case, what was Colt doing with that data in the first place?