Missing Laptop Keeps Firm From Registering New Fliers

By Joseph Galante
Bloomberg News
Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Transportation Security Administration suspended Verified Identity Pass from enrolling travelers in its pre-screening program after a laptop computer containing the records of 33,000 people went missing.

The company, based in New York, lost possession of the laptop July 26 at San Francisco International Airport. The laptop contained unencrypted pre-enrollment records of individuals, the TSA said in a statement yesterday.

The laptop had the names, addresses and driver's license or passport numbers of mostly online applicants to the Registered Travel program, which allows customers to pass quickly through security checkpoints at 17 U.S. airports, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

"We don't believe the security or privacy of these would-be members will be compromised in any way," said Steven Brill, chief executive of Verified Identity Pass.

Verified Identity Pass has more than 200,000 customers. It already started notifying the affected people about the breach. The laptop was stolen from a locked office in the airport, the company said.

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