Just as Wells Fargo, the largest bank in the US, was recovering from its latest scandal involving fake accounting, it finds itself accused of yet another faux pas – this time over a data breach. The bank has accidentally revealed the sensitive personal details of 50,000 of its wealthiest clients to a former employee.
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The documents containing the details in question were handed over to an attorney as part of a lawsuit against two brothers, one whom had worked for Wells Fargo in the past and another who is currently employed there. The documents include names, social security numbers, and sensitive financial data. They were delivered by the law firm representing Wells Fargo without a confidentiality clause attached to them.
1.4 gigabytes of data were mistakenly passed to the third party, who is partly responsible for his failure to erase the unessential data before submitting it to the court. Wells Fargo has requested that the file be sent back, but the plaintiff in the aforementioned case is having none of this. His lawyer has stated that his client intends to keep the CD secure, as his legal rights and responsibilities are going under evaluation.
Wells Fargo’s Previous Misconduct
In April, Wells Fargo reached a settlement regarding a previous incident, stating that it will add $32 million to the original $142 million. In this case, employees of the bank had set up millions of unauthorized accounts for their clients in order to reach aggressive sales goals. The original settlement only went as far as accounts that had been opened back in 2009, but the addition concerns accounts extending all the way to May 2002.