Thursday, June 15, 2006

AIG Loses Records on 1M People

Ok, I'm a firm believer in the value of computers and how they can make out lives better in many ways. Computers eliminate a lot of human drudgery and enable a lot of great things like the Internet and it's how I make my living. There is, however, a certain level of responsibility required if you are going to use computers to collect sensitive information on people. We are seeing entirely too many instances of negligence connected with stored personal information.

WASHINGTON - A thief recently stole a computer server belonging to a major U.S. insurance company, and company officials now fear that the personal data of nearly 1 million people could be at risk, insurance industry sources tell NBC News.

The computer server contains personal electronic data for 930,000 Americans, including names, Social Security numbers and tens of thousands of medical records. The server was stolen on March 31, along with a camcorder and other office equipment, during a break-in at a Midwest office of American Insurance Group (AIG), company officials confirm.

I'm trying to understand how somebody could walk into the computer center of a major corporation and walk off with a whole server. Did they keep their server arrays on the back porch?
This is one area in which the Democrats have failed miserably to take the lead on. The government needs to get some serious requirements and penalties in place for companies and individuals that violate the their responsibilities to make a diligent effort to protect personal information. The companies argue that it cost too much but there have been several studies that show that the cost of losing this kind of information costs more in the long run than properly protecting it.

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