FMCSA will encrypt data in laptops

FMCSA will encrypt data in laptops

A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) spokesman has stated the agency will encrypt data in its mobile computers and devices “very soon.”

A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) spokesman has stated the agency will encrypt data in its mobile computers and devices “very soon.” This follows a recent theft of a FMCSA laptop that might have contained personal information on 193 individuals who hold a commercial driver’s license.

The agency said the laptop contained individual names, dates of birth and CDL numbers, but it does not appear that the laptops contained any financial or medical information.

The laptop, which was stolen on Aug. 22, was password-protected but the data was not encrypted.

“Given the information the employee was working with, we suspect [the information on 193 CDLs] could be on the hard drive,” Duane Debrune, FMCSA deputy director of communications told FleetOwner. “There are cases being worked on and files associated with that case. No incidents have been reported [related to identity theft]. What that laptop potentially includes are names, addresses and CDL numbers. Beyond that it does not have social security numbers or other personal information.”

Since a laptop containing data from the Dept. of Veteran Affairs, including social security numbers for over 26 million veterans, was stolen in May, the White House has ordered that all federal agencies ensure its mobile devices are up to its data security standards within 45 days of the June 23rd order.

“There’s mandatory security training all DOT employees go through. FMCSA has its own layer of security training,” Debrune said. “We’re also looking at implementing encryption very soon. We’ll be taking a layered approach of passwords, encryption and training employees to take personal responsibility to leave [laptops] out of sight in our ongoing training. That’s the best approach to security because I don’t believe there’s a single solution.”

Drivers from the affected companies, listed in Stolen FMCSA laptop affects 40 carriers, should contact their employers, FMCSA said, or contact FMCSA’s hotline at 800-832-5660.

To comment on this article, write to Terrence Nguyen at [email protected]

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