For Thousands Of Pilots, Information At Risk

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A laptop computer that contains personal information about 42,792 Florida pilots was stolen from a government-owned vehicle in the Miami, Fla., area on July 27, the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG) said yesterday. The laptop was password-protected, but it contains a database that includes names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth. No financial or medical information is on the laptop, the OIG said. Pilots who obtained their airmen certificates after March 2003 are not affected. Also, although the database was being used by special agents in connection with an investigation into the use of fraudulent information to obtain pilot certificates, the list did not name individuals under investigation but instead was a general list of airman certificate holders in the state of Florida, the OIG said. Past reviews have identified people ineligible to hold these certificates due to disqualifying prior criminal history or the use of fraudulent Social Security numbers.