RONALD MCDONALD was left with more than just paint on his face after McDonalds revealed the theft of customer data.
McDonalds claims it has served more than 99 billion hamburgers, but on Friday admitted to serving up something entirely different, customers' personal information. Realising it's not quite the usual side order of fries most punters ask for, McDonalds was quick to rustle up a question and answers website to try to calm its patrons. Except like its food, the website threw up more questions than answers.
The security breach occurred at one of its business partners, Arc Worldwide, with McDonalds saying, "a third party was able to defeat the security measures put in place by the email database management firm". But what exactly was contained in this email database? Was it the size of a chicken McNugget or a Big Mac? The answer it turns out, is a bit of both.
In a statement, McDonalds said the data contained "information required to confirm your age, a method to contact you (such as name, mobile phone number, and postal address and/or email address), and other general preference information".
Alarmed? Don't be, because the burger chain served up this nugget of comfort, "It is important to note that the information in the database did not include Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, or any sensitive financial information."
Arc Management looks after customer information databases for a number of websites affiliated to McDonalds, ranging from mcdonalds.com to monopoly.com. The firm would not disclose how many of its customers fell victim to Arc's security practices.
All this resulted in some of McDonalds' customers receiving emails claiming to be from the firm. McDonalds urges those who receive emails not to reply, and contact the chain. McDonalrds says it is working with Arc Management and relevant authorities as part of its investigation into the data breach.
It seems hackers are lovin' Ronald McDonald's attitude of clowning around with customers' personal data. µ
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