Another data tape from a bank has got lost in transit - this time containing personal data on 90,000 customers.

The People's Bank, based in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is sending letters to the affected customers. The tape contains information such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers and checking account numbers. It was bound for the TransUnion LLC credit reporting bureau in Pennsylvania, via UPS.

UPS is investigating the incident. A spokeswoman refused to disclose when the package was lost.

The bank has not received any reports of unauthorised activity on the affected accounts and has no reason to believe the data has been improperly used, the bank claimed. UPS also tried to assure customers that it had no evidence that the package was compromised, stolen or received by an unauthorised person.

Loss and theft of personal data has taken on a high profile since the theft of data on 145,000 consumers from credit and personal information vendor ChoicePoint in February last year.

Since then, there have been dozens of reported cases of loss or theft of personal information involving more than 52 million people, according to a chronology compiled by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Among them was the loss of a computer backup tape from Bank of America containing information on 1.2 million customers.

There isn't enough information on the People's Bank tape to allow anyone to get into a customer's account, according to the bank. It does not contain checking account balances, debit card numbers, personal identification numbers or birth dates, the statement said. In addition, the tape can't be read without a mainframe and software, according to the bank.

The data on the tape involves customers that have a People's Bank personal credit line, an overdraft protection mechanism for checking accounts. As a safeguard, the bank will provide affected customers with a credit monitoring service for one year, at the bank's expense, to quickly alert customers to possible fraud involving their personal information.