The Transportation Security Administration, the branch of the U.S. federal government responsible for airline passenger safety, has reported that a hard drive containing personal data on about 100,000 employees has been lost and remains unaccounted for.
TSA management sent a letter to TSA employees on Friday, informing them of the potential breach of security.
It has not been determined whether the hard drive was lost, or stolen.
The FBI and the U.S. Secret Service have been asked to investigate.
TSA’s website has a new entry informing employees about the matter and directs them to information about identity theft.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, whose Homeland Security subcommittee oversees the TSA, has indicated her desire to hold hearings on the security breach. She stated that Homeland Security buildings are part of the critical infrastructure the agency is charged with protecting.
Stories on this incident:
This is another of a long series of mishaps in which computer-based data has been misplaced, lost, or stolen, resulting in the fear that such information may fall into the hands of identity thieves, resulting in costly and time consuming identity theft incidents that now plague millions of U.S. residents and millions more around the world.
No type of institution is immune to such incidents. Despite elaborate measures, sometimes we lose things. We started when we were children and we still struggle to keep track of our things. History is peppered with innumerable tales about lost and misplaced money, jewels, people, and objects of every size, shape, and type. I don’t think we’re going to solve this any time soon.