After laptops stolen, FMCSA says it will encrypt data

Oct. 1, 2006
An FMCSA spokesman has stated the agency will encrypt data in its mobile computers and devices very soon. This follows a recent theft of an FMCSA laptop

An FMCSA spokesman has stated the agency will encrypt data in its mobile computers and devices “very soon.” This follows a recent theft of an FMCSA laptop that might have contained personal information on 193 individuals who hold commercial driver's licenses.

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.

Although the laptop, which was stolen on Aug. 22, was password-protected, the data itself 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 Fleet Owner. “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.”

“We're also looking at implementing encryption very soon,” Debrune said. “We'll be taking a layered approach of passwords, encryption and training employees to take personal responsibility to leave [laptops] out of sight. That's the best approach to security because I don't believe there's a single solution.”

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