Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Computer Theft Compromises NASCAR Driver Information
The laptop computer was reported stolen on November 22nd, but many licensees were not informed of the theft until this week.
NASCAR Director of Communications Kerry Tharp said the stolen laptop contained no medical or lab records, only driver’s license and Social Security numbers. He said there have been no reports of any identity theft, adding, “in all likelihood, the person who stole the laptop sold it at a local Pawn Shop without ever knowing what was on it.”
Asked why it took more than 30 days for the involved parties to be notified, Tharp said, “It has taken a while to call everybody and get in touch with them. Aegis first had to notify the appropriate state agencies, and once Aegis reported the theft it to us, we began calling people immediately. Everyone has been notified at this point.”
A written statement from NASCAR said the sanctioning body “is taking every precaution possible to address this situation including contacting all individuals whose names appear on the file. Aegis also is providing outreach and consultation.”
Since the computer file in question was created in 2009, NASCAR and Aegis have instituted a new data-processing system that prevents such an incident from happening again. Aegis is revising its security procedures, encrypting data on laptop computers, and retraining affected employees on confidentiality and security procedures. Aegis has also agreed to supply all involved parties with two years of complimentary credit monitoring.
NASCAR said it “apologizes to the affected individuals for this unfortunate incident involving one of our vendors, and we are pressing Aegis to do everything necessary to mitigate this situation.”