Ramblings & ephemera

Give CLEAR your info, watch CLEAR lose your info

From “Missing SFO Laptop With Sensitive Data Found” (CBS5: 5 August 2008):

The company that runs a fast-pass security prescreening program at San Francisco International Airport said Tuesday that it found a laptop containing the personal information of 33,000 people more than a week after it apparently went missing.

The Transportation Security Administration announced late Monday that it had suspended new enrollments to the program, known as Clear, after the unencrypted computer was reported stolen at SFO.

The laptop was found Tuesday morning in the same company office where it supposedly had gone missing on July 26, said spokeswoman Allison Beer.

“It was not in an obvious location,” said Beer, who said an investigation was under way to determine whether the computer was actually stolen or had just been misplaced.

The laptop contained personal information on applicants to the program, including names, address and birth dates, and in some cases driver’s license, passport or green card numbers, the company said.

The laptop did not contain Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or fingerprint or iris images used to verify identities at the checkpoints, Beer said.

In a statement, the company said the information on the laptop, which was originally reported stolen from its locked office, “is secured by two levels of password protection.” Beer called the fact that the personal information itself was not encrypted “a mistake” that the company would fix.

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