Connecticut state officials in the US have acknowledged that an employee laptop containing thousands of taxpayer names and social security numbers was stolen about two weeks ago, but said there was no indication that the information had been used for fraud.
Sarah Kaufman of the state revenue department said the news had been delayed to give staff time to determine what was on the laptop and who might be affected.
According to published reports, the affected taxpayers will be notified by letter. A web site has also been set up for citizens to find out whether their personal data was stored on the laptop.
Misplaced or stolen laptops have become a growing security problem. The biggest case of personal data being exposed to possible fraud due to such an incident occurred at the US Department of Veterans Services (VA) last year, when a laptop computer housing the personal data of 26.5 million veterans and about 2.2 million active duty personnel was stolen from the home of a department employee. The laptop was eventually recovered.