Tapes containing sensitive information on IBM employees have gone missing, the computer maker confirmed this week.
The tapes went missing in transit from a contractor's vehicle near IBM’s New York headquarters on 23 February. A company spokesman said, “We have investigated the incident and concluded that the tape loss was inadvertent."
IBM has run an advertisment in the local newspaper -- the Westchester Journal News -- seeking help in retrieving the tapes, but has been unable to recover them.
"We've had no indication that any information on the tapes has been accessed," the spokesman added.
The tapes contained sensitive information including dates of birth, Social Security numbers and addresses of current and former IBM employees. The majority of information was related to ex-IBM staff the compnay said.
Some of the tapes were not encrypted, and IBM could not say whether this was in violation of IBM policy.
The company is not releasing details on how much data was lost, but a large number of former IBM employees appear to have been affected. IBM began notifying victims of the breach on 9 April, and letters offering one year's worth of free credit monitoring were still going out this week.
The data breach is an embarrassment for IBM, which has been increasingly pushing data security as part of its portfolio of IT services.
Read our round-up of recent data security disasters here: Anyone seen my laptop?