Thursday, March 31, 2005

AFLAC!! AFLAC!! Insurer Loses Customer Information

American Family Life Assurance Co., also known as AFLAC, is reporting that it has lost reels of magnetic tape containing the personal data of 17,000 policyholders.

It said the information was probably discarded by mistake.

An AFLAC official said, "There is a high possibility that the tapes have been scrapped within our company, along with other unnecessary magnetic media."

The firm said it had not detected any sign that the personal information was obtained by a third party.

The data on the holders of group insurance policies comprise the names, birth dates, amounts of premiums and code numbers denoting policy types of the policyholders, including those who belong to an incorporated foundation in Hyogo Prefecture, the company said. The data were stored in four volumes.

Officials in charge of the computer system at the Tokyo-based head office of AFLAC's Japanese subsidiary noticed on March 15 that the volumes were missing.

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