The payroll data of around 29,000 current and former Facebook employees was stolen as part of a theft last month of several hard drives from an employee’s car.
According to a Bloomberg article published Friday, the hard drives that were stolen were not encrypted, and included information on Facebook employees including bank account numbers and the last four digits of Social Security numbers. The theft did not include any information on Facebook users.
A spokesperson for Facebook told The Hill that the company “worked with law enforcement as they investigated a recent car break-in and theft of an employee’s bag containing company equipment with employee payroll information stored on it.”
The spokesperson emphasized that Facebook had seen “no evidence of abuse,” and classified the theft as a “smash and grab crime” and not as one specifically intended to steal employee information.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have notified the current and former employees whose information we believe was stored on the equipment – people who were on our U.S. payroll in 2018 – and are offering them free identity theft and credit monitoring services,” the spokesperson said. “This theft impacts current and former Facebook employees only and no Facebook user data was involved.”
According to Bloomberg, the theft occurred on Nov. 17, Facebook realized the hard drives were missing three days later, and it began notifying impacted employees on Friday.
The employee who took the hard drives with the personal information stored on them works for Facebook’s payroll division, and was not authorized to take the hard drives out of the office. Bloomberg noted that Facebook has taken “disciplinary action” in regards to this employee.
None of the hard drives had been recovered by law enforcement as of Friday.