News of the Day ... In Perspective09/27/2006
Commerce Department Missing 1,100 Laptop Computers
In response to a request by the House Committee on Government Reform, the Commerce Department revealed that 1,100 laptop computers had disappeared since 2001, many containing personal information such as names and Social Security numbers.
The number could increase significantly as the department learns more about missing handheld computers, which are increasingly used by the Census Bureau.
Of the ten departments reporting so far, problems are most severe in Commerce. In the seven departments that so far have remained silent, problems may be of similar or greater magnitude.
All computers containing personal information were said to be password-protected, a low-level security measure, but the majority were not fully encrypted (Washington Post 9/22/06).