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Media giant Time Warner said Monday that it lost a container of computer backup tapes with information on current and former employees.
The tapes, which were misplaced by an outside data-storage company, contained company data including the names and Social Security numbers of U.S. employees and their dependents, the company said in a statement.
Time Warner Inc. did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The U.S. Secret Service is investigating the incident, which occurred when the backup tapes were being transferred to a storage facility. Time Warner said it doesn't have any evidence that the data has been viewed or used improperly.
"We take the security of our employees' personal information extremely seriously, and we deeply regret that this incident occurred," Larry Cockell, chief security officer at Time Warner, said in a statement.
Time Warner sent a letter to its employees explaining the loss and set up a toll-free number for employees to call with questions. The company also contacted major credit agencies and is paying for a one-year subscription to a credit-monitoring service.
The incident is similar to a number of recent mishaps.
In February, Bank of America N.A. said it lost backup tapes containing data and customer account information from the U.S. federal government's charge card program. Those tapes also were lost in transit to a storage facility.
In April, online brokerage Ameritrade Inc. acknowledged that it lost backup tapes in February with information on more than 200,000 clients. The tapes were damaged in transit by a shipping company, which Ameritrade declined to name.