Squibb increases protection for possible identity theft victims

John O'Brien Oct. 8, 2008, 2:28pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - After a data breach in Brazil, pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb has agreed to provide additional identity theft protections for approximately 6,500 Connecticut residents.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal demanded the safeguards and says Social Security numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers, birthday, marital status, race, citizenship and veteran status were lost on June 2 when a backup tape was stolen.

In July, the company offered free credit monitoring and $25,000 insurance against identity theft for a year to affected employees. Blumenthal asked Bristol Myers Squibb to bump that offer up to two years, and it did.

He also asked the company to pay for a credit freeze but has not received a response.

"These measures offer strong necessary protection against the Bristol Myers Squibb data breach, which is unacceptable and indefensible," Blumenthal said.

"Companies must understand that personal information is as valuable as cash and protect it with equal vigor and vigilance.

"The company needs to take the next step and pay for credit freezes -- the most effective shield against identity theft. I urge Bristol Myers Squib to do the right thing and assure its former and current employees the strongest bulwark against financial loss."

The company recently reached a $403 million settlement with 44 states and the District of Columbia over allegations of illegal prescription drug pricing.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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