Leanne Gendreau reports:
A laptop containing confidential information about unemployment insurance claims with wage discrepancy complaints and some Bridgeport area employers was stolen this week and state police are investigating.
The state Department of Labor is notifying about 5,000 people and employers by mail.
The laptop was taken during a recent break-in at the Department of Labor’s Bridgeport Office.
The information is encrypted and protected by a series of user IDs and passwords, according to a news release from the state Department of Labor.
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The Dept. of Labor issued the following statement on its web site:
The Connecticut Department of Labor is notifying approximately 5,000 individuals and employers by mail that a laptop computer was stolen within the past week from a secured environment during a recent break-in at the agency’s Bridgeport Office. The computer contains confidential information pertaining to unemployment insurance claimants who had wage discrepancy complaints, and certain employers in the Bridgeport area. The State Police were immediately contacted and are in the process of conducting a full investigation of the incident.
“We have a deep loyalty and strong obligation to the people we serve and will make sure that everyone involved is notified and their personal information is protected,” explains Acting Labor Commissioner Linda Agnew.
The agency immediately began its own internal investigation with office staff and IT professionals and determined that:
- All data is encrypted and protected by a series of user IDs and passwords – multiple layers of security – including various application-level login protections, making it nearly impossible to access the sensitive information.
- All security measures were taken and computer usage policies were followed in accordance with state Department of Information Technology procedures.
- The agency has been able to retrieve records contained on the laptop as a result of daily backups, ensuring an accurate reading of the information contained on the computer on the day of the robbery.
“While we do not believe the information can be accessed from the laptop’s database and therefore used in a manner that will compromise the security of these individuals, all those potentially impacted by this crime will be offered free, full-service identity theft and credit protection,” Agnew said.
Federal law mandates that the agency use an individual’s entire social security number in the course of business. The agency has taken proactive measures to encrypt that data yet still comply with the law.