Device had names, Social Security numbers of every state employee
The Associated Press
COLUMBUS — A backup computer storage device with the names and Social Security numbers of all 64,000 state employees was stolen from the car of a state agency intern, who had the device as part of a practice meant to keep the data safe.
Gov. Ted Strickland said Friday during a news conference that he has no reason to believe the information — which can be used to steal from people by taking their identity — has been compromised because accessing it requires special equipment and expertise. He also issued an executive order to change the procedures for handling state data.
State officials are still in the process of reviewing the data contained in the storage device to determine whether it contains other personal information.
“I don’t mean to alarm people unnecessarily,” Strickland said. “There’s no reason to believe a breach of information has occurred.”
The storage device — listed in a police report from suburban Hilliard as being worth $15 — was reported stolen along with a $200 radar detector, out of the car of 22-year-old Jared Ilovar, a college senior making $10.50 an hour in his state job. Ilovar is an intern with the Office of Management and Budget assigned to work on the state’s $158 million payroll and accounting system. A message seeking comment was left for Ilovar.
Strickland said he was not allowed to specifically describe the computer device, or other details surrounding the theft, under direction from law enforcement investigating the theft.
Strickland said Ilovar mistakenly left the device in a vehicle parked outside an apartment when it was supposed to be taken into his home as part of a protocol in place since 2002. The police report indicates the device was stolen between Sunday night and early Monday morning.
A first backup storage device is kept at the site where Ilovar works. The office also has the computer system that holds all the employee information. The second backup device, the one Ilovar had, is given to employees on a rotating basis to take home for safekeeping, officials said.