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April 3, 2007
Contact: Don Cookson

Retailer's Security Failures Continue to Affect Mainers

Some Maine driver's license numbers compromised

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is alerting Mainers who have done business with retail stores TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, HomeGoods, and AJ Wright, all of which are owned by TJX Companies, Inc., that their license numbers may have been stolen from that organization’s computer system. “The data breach suffered by TJX Companies isn’t exactly breaking news,” said Dunlap, “but as their investigations into that security breach have continued, the company has learned driver’s license information, state ID numbers, and military ID numbers may have been stolen as well. They are now telling us some 2,283 Mainers may be affected.”

TJX Companies, Inc. sent letters to all Maine residents who may have been impacted by this data theft, advising they contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to learn what steps concerned license holders may take to minimize risks created by this situation. “We requested that TJX Companies, Inc. provide us a list of all Maine residents they have contacted as a result of this problem,” Dunlap related, “but they refused to comply with our request, citing ‘confidentiality concerns’. This reply seems rather ironic, considering it was their security failure which led to our request.” Dunlap continued, “Fortunately no one armed solely with a driver’s license has access to any financial information by way of our computer systems. First, no financial information is stored on our license database. Second, all of our systems are protected by a variety of security measures, including password encryption and firewalls, so data is safe.”

Dunlap went on to note that replacing a license simply because the license number has been compromised may be unwarranted. “These licenses will continue to be valid for all legitimate purposes. However, if you wish to have a new license issued with a new number, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles can accommodate your request. It is important to note, however, this is a process that takes time, and there is a $5 fee associated with issuing a new license. We are making inquiries right now to determine if TJX will reimburse license holders the fee for issuing a new license and license number.”

TJX Companies has established a toll-free hotline with information for those whose license number, state ID number, or military ID number has been taken by unauthorized means. The hotline number is 1-866-430-0275. Additional questions will be handled by the Office of the Secretary of State, at 207-626-8400, or by BMV License Services at 207-624-9000, Ext. 52114.