US SEC Warns Staff About Exposure to Their Stock Data

October 15 00:00 2011

New York, October 15 ( – After finding unauthorized lapses with an ethics compliance program, the US SEC has warned its staff that their personal brokerage account information might have been compromised. The program was initiated by the SEC after concerns were raised by its internal watchdog regarding possible insider trading among its staffers.

Thomas Bayer, Chief Information Officer, said in an Oct 7 letter to SEC employees that the contractor hired to operate a computer program that tracks trades had violated its agreement with the SEC and provided names and account numbers to a subcontractor without permission.

Bayer wrote in his letter that “We are not aware of any actual misuse of the data. Nevertheless, it is the SEC’s policy to provide notification of any incident that presents the potential for unauthorized access to personal information.”

SEC advised its employees to put a fraud alert on their credit files. It promised to offer a free year of credit monitoring. In March 2009, a report by the agency’s inspector general had alleged that two agency employees had possibly engaged in insider trading.

In the second quarter of 2009, SEC selected Financial Tracking Technologies LLC to set up the new ethics system. A major shake-up in how the SEC tracks the trades of its employees was initiated to have a “world class compliance program” to help prevent “not only an actual impropriety, but the appearance of one as well.”