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    Shell Employee Personal Data Misused

    Third-party contractor blamed for fake unemployment claims.

    After discovering that four of its employees' social security numbers were used to file false unemployment compensation claims with the Texas Workforce Commission, Shell Oil Co. is notifying current and former U.S. employees of a misuse of some employee data.

    Shell's investigation led it to conclude an employee of a third-party agency conducting work for Shell misused the employee information, the company said in a statement.

    Shell is providing employees information about protections available through credit reporting agencies to prevent the fraudulent use of social security numbers. Shell's investigation found no evidence 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 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," the company said. "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 Co. 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.




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