Morgan Stanley fined millions for selling off devices full of customer PII – Naked Security

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Morgan Stanley, which bills itself in its website title tag as the “global leader in financial services”, and states in the opening sentence of its main page that “clients come first”, has been fined $35,000,000 by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)…

…for selling off old hardware devices online, including thousands of disk drives, that were still loaded with personally identifiable information (PII) belonging to its clients.

Strictly speaking, it’s not a criminal conviction, so the penalty isn’t technically a fine, but it’s “not a fine” in much the same sort of way that car owners in England no longer get parking fines, but officially pay penalty charge notices instead.

Also, strictly speaking, Morgan Stanley didn’t directly sell off the offending devices itself.

But the company contracted someone else to do the work of wiping-and-selling-off the superannuated equipment, and then didn’t bother to keep its eye on the process to ensure that it was done properly.