Pgh. P-G, page A-6, 19 June issue, Laptop with ID's stolen


June 19, 2006, 12:52 PM
A computer containing 13,000 Social Security Numbers and other personal data was stolen from the home of an employee of ING U.S. Financial Services, which administers DC’s employee retirement plan. Is this a repeat, albeit on a smaller scale on the recent VA fiasco? One can only guess, but why did this employee have such data at home in the first place. Also, was the data encoded or password protected in any way? If not, why not?

By the way, has the congress done anything to check the misuse of Social Security Numbers, misuse that might well open wide the gates through which IDENTITY THEFT enters? It doesn’t look as if the congress has taken the requisite steps, nor does it appear that private sector entities have gotten the message and tightened their overly loose, if not non-existent data security regimes.

The next question to ask might relate to what, if anything YOUR congress critter and or senators are doing with regard to this sort of thing, and the problems inherent in and with IDENTITY THEFT?

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June 19, 2006, 05:32 PM
Why are employees ALLOWED to take home laptops containing this kind of data?

If it's corporate policy that they're not allowed, they should be fired and held accountable, personally, perhaps, in civil suits.

If there is no company policy that they're not allowed to, allow civil suits against the companies.

Punching in the pocketbook tends to get things done.

Cellar Dweller
June 20, 2006, 12:18 PM
A couple folks I know who used to say "they had nothing to hide" now realize that yes, they do have something to hide, at least sometimes.

I had a pre-employment drug test recently, took me a while but I held firm that I wasn't putting my SSN on the form. "But they're your employer, they need it," the sampler claimed. "No, they ARE NOT my employer, not yet anyway," I said. "I can get fired if I give out your SSN, so I won't," was the next claim. "OK, that'll make me feel a whole lot better while I spend unnecessary $$$ that I don't have and several months getting my life back in order, no thanks," and it went around like that for a good 10 minutes.

I got a new, unsolicited check-cashing card recently because a (not named by them) vendor you have used had their database compromised; I got the letter from the while it hasn't cost me anything (yet) I still have to be extra vigilant, due to someone else's carelessness or malice.

Art Eatman
June 20, 2006, 01:41 PM
So far, there haven't been any reports of problems. The surmise is that it was purely a theft of a laptop, for resale. It wasn't stolen because of what might have been on the hard drive.


June 20, 2006, 02:19 PM
Art, given that the greatest response I've seen yet is for the guilty company to pay for a one-year program of credit monitoring for each compromised employee, if I were the thief, I'd wait 366 days and then cash in.

Note that the Veterans Administration has not even offered this meager response.


June 21, 2006, 11:53 AM
The one year free credit watch offered is an insult at best.

Were it the personal data of ceo's and executive typres that was let loose, lost or stolen, I imagine that there would long since have been the obviously necessary shake-ups, and changes.

June 21, 2006, 12:19 PM
I work for a gov agency and as far as I know we are not supposed to keep any sensitive data on laptops. The employee in question should be fired and charged with leaking sensitive data.

June 22, 2006, 10:21 PM
The guilty party is on paid administrative leave, acxcording to what I heard on a newscast yesterday.

Isn't it a shame that the rest of us lack such sterling protections.

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