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This time it was a government contractor – that specializes in ....intelligence and security.

I just received another one of those "Dear former service member" letters today stating that my personally identifiable information including Name, Social Security Number, Birth Date, and/or limited health information in the form of codes might have been compromised.   This is my second time in this past year (last time was in the fall - the missing VA laptop).

Looking it up on the internet I found more information  here.

The coded personal health care records of nearly 900,000 troops, family members and other government employees stored on a private defense contractor’s nonsecure computer server were exposed to compromise, the company announced Friday.

SAIC said the information, maintained under several health care contracts with the government, included combinations of names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates and/or "limited health information in the form of codes." It was stored on a single, SAIC-owned, nonsecure server in Shalimar, Fla., and was in some cases transmitted over the Internet in an unencrypted form. The information was exposed while being processed, the company said.

The SAIC website says that it involves "approximately 580,000 households".  It also says that the work was being done in connection with TRICARE, the health benefits program for the uniformed services, retirees and their families.  

Since I am at risk, I get a free 1-year membership in Kroll's IDTheftSmart(tm).  Gee, I feel so "safe" now.

I decided to do a little research to see how often this is happening with the government. I discovered that even if you’re not in the military, you need not feel left out! - many other agencies have issues with identity compromise:

Apparently the FBI has misplaced a few laptops.  According to a Department of Justice audit, (PDF) there are 160 laptops listed as "lost, missing, or stolen" over the past four years.  Fortunately only "some" of them have sensitive or classified information on them.  Call it - "The Spy Who Lost Me".

Also the IRS is missing about 500, including 44 laptop computers that had unencrypted taxpayer data. The official report was done buy the Treasury Inspector General.

Not to be out done, the Department of Energy has admitted to losing  1,415 laptops over the past six years.   They claim that there was no classified information on any of them.  However, they also seem to have misplaced 14 desktop computers that did have classified information.  

Then there is the Commerce Department which has acknowledged losing 1,137 laptops since 2001, including many containing "sensitive" information. Of most concern is the Census Bureau, which is a part of the Commerce Department, which has lost 672 laptop computers since 2001, including 246 that contained personal data. Other Commerce Bureaus and Offices include:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - lost 319  
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology: 35
  • International Trade Administration: 30
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development: 15
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark: 9

The  Transportation Security Administration misplaced a hard drive with the Social Security and bank account numbers of about 100,000 current and former TSA employees on it. They claim that it was only employees – no passenger information was on it.

Originally posted to Anna M on Tue Jul 31, 2007 at 03:17 AM PDT.

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