The latest casualty to the identity theft war appears to Ameriprise Financial, an investment advisory spin off from Amex. Apparently, an employee left a company laptop, containing the personal information of 230k in unencrypted format (against company policy), in his car when it was broken into and stolen.
The information on the laptop included the names and Social Security numbers of more than 70,000 current and former financial advisers and the names and internal account numbers of about 158,000 customers. The data was being stored in separate lists, but it is possible that there could be some overlap between the two.
From the NYT article , it looks like it was just a typical break-in and the thief wasn’t looking to steal identity information. Seriously though, why would you ever leave a laptop in your car, especially if it held important company data that you were storing in a manner against company policy? I wouldn’t leave anything worth more than $20 in my car, regardless of where it was parked, because you never ever know what can happen.
This is stupidly careless.