May 25, 2007
Additional Qs&As for employees
Last week Alcatel-Lucent General Counsel Steve Reynolds sent employees an email informing them that a computer disk containing personal information on Alcatel-Lucent U.S. - paid employees who worked for Lucent and their dependents, Lucent retirees and their dependents, and COBRA participants could not be located. We also issued a press release so that we could inform retirees of this situation. We posted a set of Qs&As on the Alcatel-Lucent website to answer some of your questions.
Since that time Steve has received letters with additional questions from several employees. Rather than respond individually, he asked that we post the answers to the most frequently asked questions on the web so that everyone has this information.
Why did you wait until May 17 to notify us? Why didnít you do it as soon as you found out?
As soon as we learned of the missing disk we launched an investigation to determine where the disk might be. Our investigation included interviewing numerous people, reviewing materials and conducting on-site visits with Hewitt, UPS and Aon. In the course of the investigation by our Corporate Security team we could not determine if the disk was either lost or stolen, which is why we notified federal law enforcement as a precautionary matter. We needed to have the vendors involved complete their own searches for the disk in all areas where they believed it may be located in order to ensure that it was, in fact, missing. After we received confirmation from the last vendor to complete its search process, we immediately proceeded with the notification.
Although we do not have information that any of the personal data has been misused, we moved very quickly to get an investigation underway and the right experts involved. We also began arranging for an enhanced credit monitoring service for all employees, and will be getting you the information on that and how to sign up within the next several weeks.
Why do we allow vendors to mail sensitive company information without encrypting it or protecting it some other way?
That is one of the issues we are looking into. The company requires its vendors to maintain reasonable measures to protect personal information and we always expect them to follow industry best practices in ensuring data security. That said, with this incident we immediately began reviewing our security procedures to find ways to help ensure that any information transmitted by our vendors is properly protected. We also have requested our vendors to suspend all similar transmissions of personal information via courier while we investigate these issues thoroughly.
When I call to put a fraud alert on my credit, the credit rating agencies are suggesting I buy a monitoring service. Is the company going to pay for this?
We encourage you to place a fraud alert as quickly as possible with one of the credit rating agencies, however, we recommend that you not sign up for the expanded service they might try to sell you when you call.
Alcatel-Lucent is arranging for a premium service that the company will pay for, and we are preparing to send employees, retirees, and dependents over 18 letters in the mail with details within the next several weeks. Each person over the age of 18 who is eligible for this service will be given a unique code in the letter to use when ordering this enhanced service.
What should I do about my dependents? Should they sign up for credit alerts as well.
The credit rating services do not typically have information on those under the age of 18 because it is against the law to open a credit file for anybody below 18, and hence to monitor their credit.
If your dependents are age 18 or older, we recommend that your dependents sign up for fraud alerts as well, however, we recommend that they not sign up for services the credit rating agencies might offer when they initially call the service. They should wait for their letter with their unique code to take advantage of the premium service Alcatel-Lucent is arranging for and will pay for.
That mailing will have information from the credit rating service on how to protect your minor dependents against identity theft.