Breach, Data Security

SterlingBackcheck laptop stolen, contained data on about 100K individuals


SterlingBackcheck, a New York-based background screening services firm, is notifying about 100,000 individuals that a password protected, unencrypted laptop containing their personal information was stolen from an employee's vehicle.

How many victims? About 100,000.

What type of personal information? Names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers.

What happened? A file containing the personal information was stored on a password protected, unencrypted laptop that was stolen from a SterlingBackcheck employee's vehicle.

What was the response? SterlingBackcheck launched an investigation, which is ongoing. Steps taken to prevent a similar incident from occurring include updating encryption and audit procedures, revising equipment custody protocols, retraining employees on privacy and data security, and installing remote-wipe software on portable devices. All potentially impacted individuals are being notified, and offered free credit monitoring and identity restoration services.

Details: The theft occurred on May 29. The laptop has not been recovered. According to reports, the incident impacted 6,400 people in Georgia and 86 Salvation Army applicants.

Quote: “We are unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of this information, and there is no indication the data that may have been stored on the laptop was the target of the theft,” a notification letter said.

Source: A Thursday correspondence with a SterlingBackcheck spokesperson;, “Exhibit A,” Aug. 7, 2015.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.