Compliance Management, Privacy

Data breach potentially endangers Fairfax, Va. police officers

About 1,800 people, including 500 Fairfax, Va., county police department employees, had their PII possibly exposed when a USB drive carrying the information went missing.

The USB drive containing the full names, birth dates and Social Security numbers for the Fairfax police officers and other employees belonged to Police Chief Cynthia McAlister, who heads the neighboring Purcellville Police Department, The Washington Post reported. The drive held the contents of McAlister’s email inbox, but at this time it is not known why Fairfax officers and workers were included in this batch of data.

Fairfax County Police Chief Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr. is trying to determine why his officers were on that drive and whether or not its presence indicates his department also suffered a breach at some point.

The fact the critical identifying information could be compromised does worry Roessler because it could be used to track down his officers at their homes.

In addition to the Fairfax police officers, 1,300 other people were involved in the breach and included medical information, bank account numbers and other data for law enforcement officials, crime victims and people who filed police reports from across the D.C. area, The Post reported.

All those affected have been contacted and as of right now it does not appear the exposed information has been used maliciously.

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