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Laptop Theft Hits Toyota

A stolen laptop may contain the names and Social Security info of 1,500 employees at San Antonio truck plant, auto dealer says

A contractor's laptop, which may contain personal data on more than 1,500 employees, was stolen from a locked filing cabinet at Toyota's San Antonio, Tex. truck manufacturing plant last week, according to company officials.

Toyota earlier this week sent a letter to all of the employees at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas Inc., warning them that the laptop had been lost. Officials don't know how much data was on the machine, which was the property of ProgressiveHealth Rehabilitation, an independent contractor that was doing physical assessments of employees onsite at the Toyota plant.

The laptop was in a locked file cabinet in the plant's exercise room.

Following standard procedure, Toyota warned the employees within a week of the theft, which occurred July 27. The company is giving employees free credit reports from the major credit bureaus and is advising its workers to watch their accounts closely.

Plant officials said in the letter that they are "taking steps to strengthen our own security procedures as well as those of other companies working with us at our facility."

ProgressiveHealth stores most of its data on a secure server, but there's no way to be sure whether personal information might have been stored on the laptop in the form of email or temporary files. Such data would not have been encrypted.

The incident is another in a long line of laptop losses that may have compromised personal information. A similar situation occurred back in June, when District of Columbia workers' data was exposed through the theft of a contractor's computer. (See DC Workers' Personal Data Stolen.)

According to a Dark Reading poll published earlier this week, laptop theft remains the number one concern among threats to mobile and portable storage devices. (See {doclink 99850.)

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading