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Gap job applicants’ data stolen

From the Associated Press

A laptop computer containing personal information of 800,000 people who applied for jobs at Gap Inc. has been stolen, the clothing retailer announced Friday.

The laptop stored Social Security numbers and other data from people who applied online and by phone from July 2006 to June 2007 for jobs at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Outlet stores.

Data about job applicants -- who often must provide Social Security numbers, job histories, home and e-mail addresses and other information -- are a favorite target of hackers. Last month, job website Monster.com acknowledged a security breach that could have exposed the confidential information of 1.3 million people looking for jobs.

The laptop in the Gap case was lifted from the offices of a third-party vendor that manages job applicant data for the San Francisco-based clothier. Gap would not provide the vendor’s name or details of the theft.

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Although job applicants have not notified Gap of any instances of identity theft or fraud related to the incident, the company is warning that data on the stolen laptop were not encrypted.

Keeping data on an unencrypted machine is contrary to Gap’s agreement with the third-party vendor, the company emphasized Friday.

Gap is notifying applicants and offering a year of free credit monitoring services with fraud resolution assistance.


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