Workers for the Walt Disney Company in California recently filed suit against their employer, alleging that company-issued badges left them open to identity theft
, KTTV reports.
By including Social Security numbers in the employee badge barcodes, the national employer violated California privacy right laws, the suit claims. The numbers could be easily swiped using a smartphone application, Cornelia Dai, the group's lawyer, told the news station. The plaintiffs in the case are also demanding that if any employee can prove his or her identity was stolen because of the badges, the company must compensate the victims. Employers are responsible for protecting their customers' and employees' personal information; failing to do so can mean serious legal ramifications and big costs for a business. Following a similar security oversight, the Federal Trade Commission recently settled a case with credit report resellers whose practices had left consumers vulnerable to identity theft
. In a statement following that settlement, David Vladeck, the commission's director of consumer protection, warned that companies who do not take the necessary steps to protect clients' personal information from hackers and identity thieves may later be subject to federal and other fines.