Until now, the world’s most famous intern has been Monica Lewinsky.
That may change, especially for Ohioans.
They now may be yearning for the days of some Oval Office antics, especially after a 22-year-old intern earning 10 bucks an hour was responsible for transporting a backup device containing the personal information of all 64,000 state employees. The intern left his car unlocked, a burglar hijacked the device (and his radar detector, for good measure).
Over the weekend, word surfaced that the incident may be much more severe than originally thought. The device also may have contained sensitive data about the state’s 84,000 welfare recipients, the 53,000 people enrolled in the state’s pharmacy benefits management program and the names and Social Security numbers of their 75,000 dependents.
Here’s the part that befuddles me. According to reports, Ohio actually had a protocol in place in which employees took turns bringing home the backup device for safe keeping, while another backup device was kept at a work site.
Reminds me of when I was in seventh grade and our science class took turns bringing home the hamster every weekend. Only multiply the level of responsibility by about a milllion!
While Ohio’s plan may have been good for disaster recovery purposes, I can’t believe the state is relying on random workers to safeguard the personal information of its employees and benefit recipients. Gov. Ted Strickland called it “inappropriate” for an intern to be part of this anyway, and he has since stopped any workers from bringing home the device.
The good news is: The device is encrypted.
Strickland is bringing in a forensics expert to determine the chance a tech-savvy criminal can crack the device. (Police assume the burglary was random and not targeted for this device).
But, one has to assume, if the thief realizes what he has, he may want to cash in on his lucky steal.
I don’t know about you guys, but while Monica and Bill may have been immoral it never led to tens of thousands of people being placed at risk for identity theft.
Then again, you can’t blame the intern. You must blame the policy. In this case, not because it wasn’t followed, but because it was there at all.