Harmonic strikes discordant note with employee data protection

And here’s yet another recent case out of California where a laptop with personal information was stolen from a vehicle. This time, it’s Harmonic:

We are writing to inform you of a potential information security incident involving your personal information. While Harmonic does not know whether your personal information has been or will be misused, as a precaution, we are writing to tell you about the incident and call your attention to some steps you may take to help protect yourself.

On the evening of October 17, 2014, an unknown person broke into the locked car of a Harmonic employee and took a work bag containing documents and a laptop computer. We have determined that there were email files on the laptop with data and spreadsheets containing personal information about certain current and former Harmonic employees, consultants and affiliates, including names and social security numbers. The laptop was password protected. We currently have no reason to believe the theft was targeting Harmonic or your personal information and we believe the theft was a random crime of opportunity. The theft was immediately reported to the appropriate authorities, and Harmonic has and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement efforts to apprehend the thieves.

Read more of their notification here (pdf).

The Massachusetts legislature passed some tough data breach laws and their attorney general has gone after entities that have not adequately secured data. Is it time for California’s Attorney General to start really going after some of these laptop theft cases to send a screamingly loud message that you don’t leave unencrypted PII on devices in vehicles?

What the heck, people? What the heck?

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