Laptop theft puts personal information of hundreds of Pennsylvania taxpayers at risk
WTAE reports that the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is notifying 865 taxpayers whose information was on a stolen laptop.
Why they would claim this notification is in an “abundance of caution” defies belief. An “abundance of caution” would have involved deploying adequate security and not leaving the damned laptops in an unattended vehicle.
Read more on WTAE.
Here is the state’s statement on the incident:
Department of Revenue Notifies 865 Taxpayers Their Data Was Potentially Compromised by a Laptop Theft
Harrisburg, PA – In an abundance of caution, the Department of Revenue is mailing letters to 865 taxpayers whose personal information was on a stolen laptop. The letters provide information about free credit monitoring services and fraud protections the department will offer.
In late June, four department auditors were in San Francisco, California to conduct a routine audit. At approximately 6:00 PM thieves smashed the windows of several parked vehicles, including the auditors’ locked rental vehicle, stealing four laptop computers. The employees immediately began working with law enforcement and notified the department. The stolen laptops have not been recovered.
The department conducted an extensive investigation which determined some procedures to secure data may not have been followed with one laptop. The department’s computer network has not been accessed or hacked and remains secure.
“Safeguarding the information of taxpayers is a top priority for the department,” said Revenue Secretary Eileen McNulty. “We are taking proactive steps to help those who could be potentially impacted and to ensure this does not happen again.”
Through the investigation, the department determined the stolen laptop contained personally identifiable information for 865 taxpayers. As a precaution, the department will provide those potentially affected with one year of free credit monitoring with Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, This service will provide affected individuals with automatic notifications of key changes in their credit reports and identify theft insurance.
The department will not call individuals about this breach. Those impacted will receive a notice in the mail advising them of the protections being offered as well as the next steps.