A U.S. Department of Transportation laptop containing names, birthdates, addresses and Social Security numbers of about 133,000 Florida driver license, commercial driver license and pilot’s license holders was stolen from an employee’s car, the department said Wednesday.
The theft occurred on July 27, but Acting Inspector General Todd Zinser said he was not aware that it had contained personal information until last weekend.
The password-protected laptop contains personal information for approximately 42,792 Florida pilots, approximately 80,667 Miami-Dade County CDL holders, and approximately 9,005 individuals who obtained their personal driver’s licenses and approximately 491 drivers who obtained their CDLs from the Largo licensing examining facility near Tampa.
The DOT said the names were “general lists of license and airman certificate holders in the state of Florida” consisting of people who obtained their CDL in Miami-Dade and pilots licensed prior to April 2003 and people who obtained their driver licenses and CDLs at Largo prior to July 2005.
The lists were being used in an investigation of people obtaining licenses by fraudulent means such as giving false Social Security numbers or concealing a criminal history which would disqualify them from holding such licenses.
In a conference call with reporters yesterday, Zinser said the agent had placed the laptop in the back of a sport-utility vehicle when he went to lunch with colleagues, and he discovered hours later that the computer was missing. The data had been encrypted as recently as two weeks ago, but that protection was temporarily stripped away as part of a computer upgrade, he said.
Zinser said he is considering offering free credit monitoring to affected Florida residents, “but, quite frankly, I don’t have the money to do that, and I would have to go to Congress to get it.” — Washington Post
Individuals affected by the data theft will be contacted by the Department of Transportation or can call 1-800-424-9071 for more information or to report tips in solving the crime.
Add this one to the long string of data thefts from various government agencies and contractors.