Saturday, May 05, 2007

TSA Suits Lose Employees' Personal Data

In a balls-up that will have a familiar ring to anyone who has worn the uniform of a Transportation Security Administration officer, someone at TSA headquarters has managed to lose a hard drive containing the personal information, including Social Security numbers, for 100,000 employees:
Authorities realized Thursday the hard drive was missing from a controlled area at TSA headquarters. TSA Administrator Kip Hawley sent a letter to employees Friday apologizing for the lost data and promising to pay for one year of credit monitoring services....

In a statement released Friday night, the agency said the external - or portable - hard drive contained information on employees who worked for the Homeland Security agency from January 2002 until August 2005.
TSA employs about 50,000 people. That should give you an idea of the turnaround at this vital agency. While the uniformed TSA screeners were carefully selected (11 out of 12 applicants were rejected when TSA was formed), the "exemp" non-uniformed employees were often not carefully chosen. Many cushy slots were filled through cronyism.

Uniformed TSA personnel must requalify every six months in a grueling, weeklong process of "recertify or hit the road." The "command" personnel have no such requirement, and, indeed, are not even certified to watch the exit doors at airports.

Or even watch what the hell is going on in their office environments...