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A sampling of financial industry data breaches in 2006

January:

In early January, a computer tape containing the social security numbers and account numbers of 90,000 clients at People's Bank of Bridgeport, Conn., was lost while en route to a credit reporting bureau.

Later in January, Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Minneapolis notified 158,000 customers and 68,000 financial advisers that a laptop containing their personal information had been stolen in December 2005.

March:

In March, University of Michigan Credit Union in Ann Arbor, Mich., notified 5,000 members by letter that their information may have been stolen from a warehouse in the summer of 2005 while the bank was preparing to destroy the documents.

Also in March, Boston-based Fidelity Investments reported a laptop containing personal data of 196,000 employees of Hewlett-Packard Co. and former employees—whose 401(k) plans are administered by the financial firm—was stolen.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. sent letters during the spring to an undisclosed number of its home mortgage clients stating that a laptop containing their personal information was missing and may have been stolen.

May:

In May, Baltimore-based Mercantile Bankshares Corp. reported that a laptop computer containing personal information of more than 48,000 customers was stolen from an employee of its subsidiary, Mercantile Potomac Bank.

August:

In August, Wyomissing, Pa.-based Sovereign Bank warned thousands of customers that some of their account information might have been stolen in the theft of three employees' laptops.

September:

In September, Chase Card Services, a unit of New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co., said it was notifying 2.6 million cardholders that computer tapes containing their personal information were mistakenly thrown in the trash. After federal and local authorities investigated, the company said it believed the tapes were compacted and destroyed.

Source: Company and news reports