Tuesday, December 06, 2005

State has computer stolen with Employee ID

Washington State has had a computer stolen. On it were the names and information of "about 530 workers" at 50 Seattle area employers. That's a drop in the bucket compared to the recent Boeing fiasco, but try telling that to anyone whose identity was stolen.

This comment from the Washington State column was particularly disturbing:

"Thieves finding these items often want to sell them quickly. They wipe out the hard drives and resell them, so there's a good chance the data is gone," spokeswoman Sheryl Hutchison said.
Yea, sure. I spoke to some Boeing employees last week. In the original article about the 160,000 employees who had data stolen, the data was said to have been encrypted. It appears that Boeing employees got a different message: the data was NOT, in fact, encrypted. These Boeing employees told me that in fact, reports are coming through internal lines that tell of identity theft or theft attempts affecting people in the stolen database. Do we see any information on that in our local media? Where's the follow-up reporting? Does Washington state really expect that there will be no repercussions? If there are no identity thefts related to this data being stolen, will Washington State adopt corrective measures or will they just consider themselves lucky, or both?

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