A laptop computer belonging to oil giant BP containing the private information of approximately 13,000 individuals that had filed claims following the gulf oil spill was reported lost by the company.
Data stored on the lost laptop include names, phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers for individuals who filed claims related to last year’s disastrous Deepwater Horizon spill. BP has notified the individuals who may be affected and has offered free credit monitoring.
According to a statement from BP spokesman Tom Mueller, “There is no evidence that the laptop or data was targeted or that anyone’s personal data has in fact been compromised or accessed in any way. “We have sent written notice to individuals impacted by this event to inform them about the loss of their personal data and to offer them free credit monitoring services to help protect their personal information,” Mueller added.
A BP spokesperson sent the following statement to SecurityWeek:
BP recently learned that a password-protected laptop computer was lost during business-related travel. This laptop contained personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers of approximately 13,000 individuals who filed claims related to the Deepwater Horizon accident. The personal information was in a spreadsheet maintained by BP as part of a tracking process for claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon accident – part of the claims process before the Gulf Coast Claims Facility was established.
The lost laptop was immediately reported to law enforcement authorities and BP security, but has not been located despite a thorough search. There is no evidence that the laptop or data was targeted or that anyone’s personal data has in fact been compromised or accessed in any way. Our Security team continues to monitor the situation very closely and we are still in touch with authorities in an attempt to recover the laptop.
We have sent written notice to individuals impacted by this event to inform them about the loss of their personal data and to offer them free credit monitoring services to help protect their personal information.
BP takes the protection of personal information very seriously and deeply regrets the loss of the laptop.