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Pfizer says stolen laptop contained employee data

May 14, 2008
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According to the Associated Press, a laptop containing personal information about 13,000 Pfizer Inc. employees was stolen from an employee''s car about a month ago, a company spokeswoman said recently.

Spokeswoman Liz Power said information on Pfizer employees was compromised when a company laptop and flash drive were stolen. The company would not identify the location of the theft, the second such incident in a month.

The company has told affected employees, including many at Pfizer Global Research and Development campuses in Groton and New London, that no Social Security numbers were on the encrypted laptop in the latest theft.

But names, home addresses, home telephone numbers, employee identification numbers, positions and salaries were on an unencrypted flash drive.

The flash drive contained two worldwide reports with information from various Pfizer divisions, including animal health, finance, human resources, legal and medical, in addition to the local R&D headquarters, which employs about 5,500 people in Groton and New London, according to the company.

Pfizer said in an e-mail to employees that the company is not required to notify employees about data breaches involving information unlikely to lead to identity theft, but it brought the situation to light "as a matter of transparency and respect for colleagues."

Power said the company is working to improve data security and privacy protection and encrypting laptops and desktops worldwide.
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