Want your privacy protected? Better work for Google. Employees hired before December 31, 2005, recently learned that their personal data, including Social Security numbers and birthdates, had been compromised by a break-in at Colt, an HR outsourcing firm:

We all got a letter saying that a break-in occured on May 26 and Google was notified on June 9. Here's the fun part: "We've been informed by Colt that specific personal information for employees and dependents included names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, hire dates, and relationships." Employees are getting a free year of identity-theft protection.

How kindly of Mother Google! No such protection was provided to the North Carolina students whose personal data was made available by the search engine in 2006.