Yowch. The Transportation Security Administration, the fine folks responsible for protecting Americans as they travel on plane, rail, or any other major means of public transit, has made something of a major boo boo. A hard drive, containing the private information on over 100,000 TSA employees, from baggage screeners to administrators and officials, has gone mysteriously missing, with no indication or knowledge of where the drive is, who might have it, or whether the data has been used for any nefarious purposes like identity theft.
The lost hard drive contains a wealth of sensitive information, including banking data, social security information, and home addresses of all of the employees. The TSA claims it has no idea whether the drive and its data is missing inside its headquarters, or within the controlled area from which it went missing, or whether it’s left TSA control and is out and about floating around somewhere. The drive contained archive information for employees that worked at the TSA from 2002 to 2005, and the TSA is working with the Secret Service to find and retrieve the drive and its data.
The TSA has set up a website to help current and former employees learn more about what they’re doing to retrieve the drive and protect the people who may have been affected: