from the it's-going-to-get-worse-before-it-gets-better dept.
Rollie Hawk writes "Continuing the recent trend of customer data blunders in the news, Ameritrade has announced the loss of the personal data of up to 200,000 customers. The suspected cause is a routing error, but not the network kind. The online discount broker admitted that a backup tape of customer account data from 2000 to 2003 has been misplaced. They claim the cause is an error on the part of a shipping company. The tape was identified as missing in February, soon after being shipped. According to spokeswoman Donna Kush, nothing suspicious has been reported. Further blaming the shipping company, she explained that "this was not an Ameritrade Systems issue or a compromise of our technology. This was related to a third party vendor." It's doubtful that current and former customers with exploited information will care how this occurred. She further claimed that Ameritrade "has every reason to believe" that the tape has either been destroyed or is being held by the shipper. There's no word yet on how they arrived at this conclusion."
That's the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they
really hate is lousy programmers.
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle in "Oath of Fealty"