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August 9, 2006

More Government Laptop/Data Follies

The Department of Transportation announced that a laptop containing personal data, including social security numbers, of 133,000 Florida residents has been stolen.  The information represents Florida residents who hold pilots licenses, people in the Miami-Dade area with commercial licenses, and others who either took driver's tests or received licenses from an examination facility in the Tampa area. 

This comes on the heels of a major theft of a laptop from the Department of Veterans Affairs which has since been recovered.  Two men were recently arrested in conjunction with that theft.  After all the breast-beating over that incident, a desktop system with personal information on 38,000 patients at Pennsylvania hospitals is missing.  News reports indicate that other data was compromised in incidents at the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, Navy, Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service.

In another odd little story, Naval Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann is being held in the Norfolk brig for stealing a government laptop with classified defense information and delivering copies of the information to a foreign government.  The Navy has been tight-lipped about this particular case.

It makes one wonder how seriously the government takes preventative measures to protect sensitive data.

Stories are in the Washington Post, CNET News, Computerworld, and the Virginia Pilot.

August 9, 2006 | Permalink


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