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Time Warner employee data missing
Information on 600,000 current, ex-workers lost by storage firm; Secret Service investigating.
May 3, 2005: 9:08 AM EDT
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Time Warner says computer backup tapes with information on 600,000 former and current employees is missing. CNN's Chris Huntington reports.
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NEW YORK (CNN) - Time Warner Inc. said Monday that data on 600,000 current and former employees stored on computer backup tapes was lost by an outside storage company and that the Secret Service is now investigating.

Kathy McKiernan, a spokeswoman for Time Warner (down $0.01 to $16.80, Research), told CNN that the tapes contained names and Social Security information on current and former Time Warner employees and some of their dependents and beneficiaries dating back to 1986.

The tapes may include information on employees of Time Warner and any of its affiliated companies between 1986 and the present. Time Warner, the world's largest media company, owns AOL, Time magazine, CNN/Money and other properties.

"Time Warner retains that information to administer retirement, compensation and other benefits information for its employees," McKiernan told CNN. She would not say what other information was on the 40 tapes that were lost with the missing container, citing the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

New York-based Time Warner said the tapes do not include personal data on its customers.

McKiernan said the Secret Service is investigating the matter, working closely with the company and Iron Mountain Inc. (down $0.38 to $29.32, Research), the data storage firm that lost the tapes.

Time Warner has been working with Iron Mountain for 10 years, she said, adding, "They have had an excellent track record."

Iron Mountain could not immediately be reached for comment.

McKiernan said the investigation has not found any evidence that the tapes or their contents have been accessed or misused.

Time Warner said it is notifying individuals whose information may have been on the missing tapes of this incident and of resources at their disposal to monitor their credit reports in the event of unusual activity.

All current Time Warner employees are being sent a letter from Larry Cockell, Time Warner's senior vice president and chief security officer, informing them of the lost tapes and letting them know the steps they can take to protect their personal information.

Time Warner will offer its employees free credit monitoring for one year, in addition to other services, McKiernan said. As of Feb. 1, the company had about 84,900 active employees.

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From: CNN's Biz-news Senior Editor, Caleb Silver  Top of page

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