A thief broke into the car of an employee in the payroll department at Facebook last month and made off with hard drives that contained banking and salary information for 29,000 Facebook employees.
The incident happened on November 17 at an undisclosed location, as Bloomberg reports, and Facebook discovered that the drives were missing three days later. A subsequent investigation found that the drives contained information including employee names, bank account numbers, last four digits of social security numbers, salaries, bonuses, and some equity information. The trove covered U.S. Facebook employees who worked for the company in 2018, according to a company official.
"We have seen no evidence of abuse and believe this was a smash and grab crime rather than an attempt to steal employee information," said the spokesperson. The company was also quick to assure everyone that the hard drives did not contain any user data.
That 29,000 number sounds like it could cover all American employees of Facebook and Instagram in the country. Facebook reportedly had 14,000 Bay Area employees in 2018, according to the SF Business Times, and around 30,000 worldwide.
Setting aside the fact that everyone who lives pretty much anywhere in California should know better than to leave visible objects of any value in parked cars, what was this person doing wandering around outside the office with hard drives containing this stuff?
Bloomberg confirmed with the company that the employee in question did indeed break protocol when he or she left the premises with these drives. "We have taken appropriate disciplinary action," the company spokesperson tells Bloomberg. “We won’t be discussing individual personnel details."