Online travel services company Travelocity has blamed human error for a security breach that exposed the personal information of thousands of entrants to a competition on its website.
But company chiefs claimed that customer profiles, credit card information or data had not been made available as a result of the security hole and that those affected were mainly US users.
Jim Marsicano, Travelocity's executive vice president of sales and services, explained that the names and addresses of an estimated 45,000 contest participants were contained in an internal work file that had not been taken out of service properly and which had inadvertently been left on a server. The machine, which ran the company's website, was transferred last month from San Francisco to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Marsicano blamed the problem on human error, but claimed that Travelocity had already launched an internal investigation into the matter and had taken steps to prevent the incident being repeated. It is also in the process of contacting contestants whose names may have been accessible to others.
"What we ordinarily focus on is customer information, which is unbelievably safe. I'm embarrassed to say that a file, which should have been routinely deleted, was not," he said. "We regret this incident occurred. It's not something we're very proud of."
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