Coke – Coca-Cola Co. – had laptops stolen, according to the beverage company on Friday. They informed United States and Canadian employees – as well as contractors and suppliers - that laptops which contained their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, in addition to other details like their ethnicity and compensation were stolen for a short period of time, according to a Fox News report on Saturday. The data on the laptops was not encrypted.
Coca-Cola asserted that the laptops with the data were found later – and it stated that it has no idea as to whether or not the data on the laptops was used. The statement from Coke didn’t say how they learned of the robbery or how the laptops were found.
Coke is now sending letters to some 18,000 persons who have information including their Social Security numbers on the stolen and recovered laptops. An additional 56,000 persons who had other information – primarily driver’s license numbers – on the laptops are also being notified.
Reportedly, a former employee who had been given the job of maintaining or disposing of equipment stole the laptops. The former employee has not been identified. It is not known as to whether the thief was an employee when the laptops were taken.
Coke has said that it learned Dec. 10, 2013, that there was personal information on the laptops – which they discovered after they had retrieved them. Coca-Cola’s reasoning for waiting well over a month to inform the employees is because they claim they had to look through the data on the recovered laptops first.