tampabay.com

Stolen laptop had data on 133,000

By ANDREA CHANG
Published August 10, 2006


A laptop computer containing personal information on almost 133,000 Florida residents, including thousands who used a Largo licensing facility, was stolen from a government-owned vehicle two weeks ago, U.S. Transportation Department officials said Wednesday.

The laptop, which is password protected, has four databases with personal information, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and addresses.

The computer contained information on about 9,500 people who obtained they commercial and personal drivers' licenses from the Largo licensing facility. It also contained the information on about 42,792 Florida pilots.

Officials said there is no financial or medical information on the laptop, which was stolen from a government-owned vehicle in Miami on July 27.

The Tampa-area driver's licensing data was used as part of an ongoing investigation involving fraud at the licensing facility.

The databases were not lists of individuals under investigation but instead were general lists of license and airman certificate holders in Florida.

Pilots who obtained their airman certificates after March 2003 and drivers who obtained their personal or commercial drivers' licenses from the Largo facility after July 2005 are not affected.

Officials said they do not believe the laptop was targeted because of its contents.

However, the Office of Inspector General is working with members of Congress - as well as federal, state and local agencies - to inform at-risk parties of the potential privacy breach.

This includes sending notification letters to at-risk Floridians when possible.