Stolen Laptop Has Gap Applicants' Confidential, Unencrypted Data

The clothing retailer Gap announced today that a thief stole a laptop computer containing unencrypted personal information of 800,000 people who applied for jobs.

The laptop stored Social Security numbers and other data from people who applied online and by phone between July 2006 and June 2007 for in-store jobs at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Outlet stores.

Gap's stolen laptop is the latest security breach at an international retailer.

Gap's laptop was lifted from the offices of a third-party vendor that manages job applicant data for the San Francisco-based clothier, but Gap is not providing the vendor's name or details of the theft.

Job applicants have not notified Gap of any instances of identity theft or fraud related to the incident, but the company is warning that data on the stolen laptop was not encrypted.

The company emphasizes that keeping data on an unencrpyted machine is contrary to Gap's agreement with the third-party vendor.