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Missing BP laptop had personal data of claimants

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March 29, 2011 05:09 PM EST | AP


NEW ORLEANS — BP says one of its employees lost a laptop containing personal data belonging to thousands of residents who filed claims for compensation after the Gulf oil spill.

The oil giant disclosed the potential data security breach to The Associated Press on Tuesday. But BP spokesman Curtis Thomas says the company doesn't have any evidence that claimants' personal information has been misused.

Thomas said the company mailed out letters Monday to roughly 13,000 people, notifying them that their data was in the computer.

The data belonged to individuals who filed claims with BP before the Gulf Coast Claims Facility took over the processing of claims in August. BP paid roughly $400 million in claims before the switch.

As of Tuesday, it had paid roughly $3.6 billion to 172,539 claimants.