Stolen Laptop Puts HCV Client Data at Risk

May 5, 2009
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The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) has notified clients affiliated with its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program that their names and personal information were contained on an agency laptop computer that was stolen from an OHFA employee’s home during a burglary in April. Immediately upon learning of the stolen property, the Oklahoma City Police Department sent letters to 90,000 families whose information may have been on the agency laptop computer. According to a press release issued by the OHFA, the computer has not been recovered, which means there is a possibility that OHFA clients’ personal information may have been accessed.

The personal information includes names, Social Security Numbers, Tax Identification Numbers, dates of birth, and home and business addresses of clients who participate or have participated in the HCV program. No data about any of OHFA’s other programs was on the computer.

“Because the computer was password and log-in protected and the file on the computer containing the client information was separately password and log-in protected, we believe that it is unlikely that the information can be retrieved from the stolen equipment,” said Dennis Shockley, OHFA executive director. “OHFA has taken precautionary steps by informing and advising all affected clients about measures dealing with privacy protection.”

Shockley said that OHFA uses numerous security measures to ensure client data is safeguarded. However, in light of this incident, all policies, procedures, and training methods related to information are being reviewed.