No Evidence that Information Has Been Misused
The Rhode Island Department of Administration (DOA) this week informed 1393 individuals that a computer disk containing their Social Security numbers cannot be located. Since its disappearance, DOA has been working with the Rhode Island State Police to investigate this incident and locate the disk and will continue to do so.
While there is absolutely no evidence that the disk has been acquired by an unauthorized party or that the information has been misused, the state recommended that the affected individuals immediately place a fraud alert on their credit file and provided them with the information necessary to do so.
In a March 20th letter, all affected individuals were advised that:
“Within the last two weeks, a computer disk containing files that included your social security number could not be located. When we learned of this matter, we initiated an internal investigation and also reported this to the Rhode Island State Police. We will continue to work with law enforcement to investigate this matter.”
“While we have absolutely no information to indicate that your information has or will be misused, it is important that you be informed of this potential disclosure and that you take precautions to protect against possible misuse or identity theft,” the letter continues. “As a precautionary step, we recommend that you immediately place a fraud alert on your credit file. A fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before they open any new accounts or change your existing accounts.”
“We deeply regret any inconvenience or concern that this incident has caused affected individuals,” Executive Director Stephen Johnston said in today’s press statement. “Once we decided it was unlikely we would be able to locate the missing computer disk, we wanted to inform the individuals directly by mail and also through the media so they could take the proper precautions.”
“We are committed to maintaining the privacy of individuals’ information and will continue to modify our protocols to enhance the security of sensitive information.” Johnston concluded.