Identity Theft Concerns Continue with Computer Tape Stolen in Ohio

September 24, 2007

A computer backup tape stolen from a state worker’s car in June contained the personal information of more than 500 county workers from Minnesota. Insurance Journal reported on the theft earlier this year.

It was learned that information from out-of-state residents was being used by a contractor to test an Ohio computer system, Ohio Department of Administrative Services spokesman Ron Sylvester said.

The names and Social Security numbers of 584 Ramsey County workers and two employees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. were included on the tape.

Officials already had reported that the tape contained sensitive information on more than 1.3 million companies, government agencies and individuals in Ohio. The tape also contained the personal information from 57 Connecticut residents and the information from nearly every bank account held by state agencies.

Ohio and Connecticut have pledged to provide identity theft protection to affected residents.

“Certainly, there are a lot of questions about how this theft occurred and how this could happen,” Ramsey County Manager David J. Twa said.

Consulting firm Accenture, which worked on the Ohio computer project, said it did not know how the information came to be stored on the tape, but that it regrets the error.

“Based on what we know today, we believe our policies inadvertently were not followed, which resulted in this information being on the backup tape stolen in Ohio,” the company said in a statement.

Ohio officials have said the data system was so specialized that it was highly unlikely that anyone can access the information on the tape and misuse it.

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