Boeing says worker inadvertently emailed personal information of 36,000 employees

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SEATTLE (KCPQ) — A Boeing employee put the personal information of 36,000 fellow workers at risk when he inadvertently emailed a document to his spouse to ask for formatting help with the spreadsheet, Boeing confirmed.

GeekWire first reported the story Tuesday.

The document contained the social security numbers and birth dates for 36,000 Boeing employees, including 7,288 who live in Washington state, Boeing said.

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Air Force One, a heavily modified Boeing 747, is seen prior to US President Barack Obama departure from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, December 6, 2016, as he travels to Tampa, Florida, to speak about counterterrorism and visit with troops. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Old airplanes, including Boeing 747-400s, are stored in the desert in Victorville, California March 13, 2015. Last year, there were zero orders placed by commercial airlines for new Boeing 747s or Airbus A380s, reflecting a fundamental shift in the industry toward smaller, twin-engine planes. Smaller planes cost less to fly than the stately, four-engine jumbos, which can carry as many as 525 passengers. Picture taken March 13, 2015. To match Insight AEROSPACE-JUMBO REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Old airplanes, including Boeing 747-400s, are stored in the desert in Victorville, California March 13, 2015. Last year, there were zero orders placed by commercial airlines for new Boeing 747s or Airbus A380s, reflecting a fundamental shift in the industry toward smaller, twin-engine planes. Smaller planes cost less to fly than the stately, four-engine jumbos, which can carry as many as 525 passengers. Picture taken March 13, 2015. To match Insight AEROSPACE-JUMBO REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Boeing 747 also known as a jumbo jet lines up on a runway in preparation for takeoff.
Old airplanes, including British Airways Boeing 747-400s and FedEx planes, are stored in the desert in Victorville, California March 13, 2015. Last year, there were zero orders placed by commercial airlines for new Boeing 747s or Airbus A380s, reflecting a fundamental shift in the industry toward smaller, twin-engine planes. Smaller planes cost less to fly than the stately, four-engine jumbos, which can carry as many as 525 passengers. Picture taken March 13, 2015. To match Insight AEROSPACE-JUMBO REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Old airplanes, including British Airways and Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400s, are stored in the desert in Victorville, California March 13, 2015. Last year, there were zero orders placed by commercial airlines for new Boeing 747s or Airbus A380s, reflecting a fundamental shift in the industry toward smaller, twin-engine planes. Smaller planes cost less to fly than the stately, four-engine jumbos, which can carry as many as 525 passengers. Picture taken March 13, 2015. To match Insight AEROSPACE-JUMBO REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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That information was contained in hidden columns, Boeing said, while the portion of the spreadsheet the Boeing worker was able to see contained the employees' names, place of birth, employee IDs and accounting department codes.

The incident occurred last Nov. 21, and Boeing discovered it on Jan. 9.

In a letter dated Feb. 8 sent to state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Boeing disclosed what had happened and said it conducted "a forensic examination of both the Boeing employee's computer and the spouse's computer to confirm that any copies of the spreadsheet have been deleted."

The company said it was confident the information hadn't been spread beyond the two devices.

In a separate letter to affected employees, Boeing said it would be offering them free two-year memberships in an ID protection service and will also be requiring additional training of its employees on handling personal data.

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