FTC laptops stolen along with personal data

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is notifying 110 people thattwo laptop computers containing their personal data were stolenfrom a locked vehicle.

The information includes individuals’ names, addresses, SocialSecurity numbers, birth dates and “in some cases, financial accountnumbers,” the regulatory agency said Thursday. The laptops arepassword protected, and the FTC said it had no reason to think thedata on the laptops, rather than the laptops themselves, was thetarget of theft.

Those affected include defendants in current and past FTC cases.The agency was sending letters to them with information about howto limit their risk of identity theft and offering a year of freecredit monitoring.

It’s only the latest case in which sensitive information hasbeen lost on government computers. In May, the U.S. Department ofVeterans Affairs said personal data for 26.5 million veterans mayhave been compromised after a break-in at an analyst’s home.

The analyst had violated a department security policy by takinghome the sensitive data. The incident prompted calls for allgovernment agencies to adhere more closely to the FederalInformation Security Management Act.

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