Employee Loses 5,500 Social Security Numbers
By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thousands of Oklahomans are taking extra security precautions after learning their personal information was lost by a state worker.
The employee had Social Security numbers and payroll information stored on a flashdrive, but the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission worker responsible for the information said he lost the flashdrive.
Kurt Kalies, a Shawnee audiologist, is one of more than 5,500 area workers who were surprised when he got a letter from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission explaining the mishap.
"I don't think the one employee who did it will ever do it again," Kalies said. "It's something I'm sure everybody feels bad about."
The OESC employee put the Social Security numbers and payroll information on a flashdrive after his laptop became infected with a virus.
"He accidently took that flashdrive to a conference in Dallas the following weekend, and while there, misplaced it," said John Carpenter of the OESC.
The flashdrive wasn't protected.
A letter from the OESC informed all the workers to contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the incident, but Kalies said that wasn't enough.
"I expect them to be more helpful as far as helping people to monitor their credit reports and all they did on that was say, 'Here's a Web site,'" Kalies said.
The agency spokesperson said an incident like this has never happened before, but it has prompted them to adopt new policies to protect sensitive information.
"We've formed a committee and they are in the middle of looking into this and updating policies to make sure this kind of thing never happens again," Carpenter said.
So far no one has reported any identity theft because of the lost data.
The OESC said the incident wasn't intentional, but personnel action has been taken against the man who lost the information.