Shell Notifies Employees of Internal Data Misuse by Contractor
Shell has taken steps to notify current and former US employees of a misuse of some employee data. Shell discovered that four of its employees’ social security numbers were used to file false unemployment compensation claims with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Shell’s investigation has led it to believe that an employee of a third-party agency conducting work for Shell misused the employee information. The internal notification provides information on protections available through credit reporting agencies to prevent the fraudulent use of social security numbers. Shell’s investigation to date has found no evidence that the agency’s employee attempted to use any Shell employees’ personal information to fraudulently obtain credit or for any other purpose.
Upon discovery of the data misuse in early September 2008, Shell informed the third-party agency and the agency’s employee was removed from Shell premises. The subsequent investigation has resulted in the termination of the contract with the third-party agency, which was performing a data indexing project for Shell. Shell is continuing to work with the TWC and Harris County law enforcement to investigate the matter.
Shell takes information security very seriously. Contract workers and third-party agencies hired for projects of this nature work under confidentiality agreements, and the contract workers are scrutinized via background checks before work begins. Shell regularly examines all safety and security precautions and is reviewing ways to improve these processes.
Shell Oil Company, including its consolidated companies and its share in equity companies, is one of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers, natural gas marketers, gasoline marketers and petrochemical manufacturers. Shell, a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, is a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology. Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Shell Group, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies, employing approximately 104,000 people and operating in more than 110 countries and territories.