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Monday, July 30, 2007


I once observed Walt Disney instructing painters in Disneyland on just how he wanted them to paint the storefronts on Mainstreet U.S.A. I didn’t know him but a Disneyland PR representative who was giving me a tour prior to the park opening, told me of how Disney made sure of every detail of the operation at least once a week. Imagine his dismay if he knew a Disney subcontractor involved in the Movie Club sold an unknown amount of credit card numbers and other data from customer accounts. The company sent out letters to customers, one of which was received by an Atlanta man who provided it to Computerworld for their story, which includes excerpts from the letter. The subcontractor was Alta Resources in Wisconsin, who reported their employee actually sold the data to law enforcement people in a sting operation. Not your typical ID thief, who would have immediately gone to the Internet underground to make the sale. Disney did say the CVV codes—that three-digit number found on the back of most credit cards—had not been compromised. The letter-writer did make the same old tiresome statement that there was no indication of any improper use of the data. Disney did not offer any free credit monitoring, and “urged” their customers to contact financial institutions issuing the credit cards for questions re. their accounts. That’s not the way Walt would have done it, because the PR guy told me that Disney literally revered the people who came to his dreamland. It is also not the way most responsible companies would react. Brad Van Duser, the person who turned the letter over to Computerworld, commented on how, with all the recently reported data breaches, a “reputable company like Disney had not taken steps to thoroughly protect my credit card information.” Welcome to the “club” Brad.

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