DENVER – A computer stolen from a private contractor holds a database that may contain personal information of up to 1.4 million Coloradans, including information of anyone recently hired by any company in the state, officials said.
Affiliated Computer Services Inc. this week began notifying at least 500,000 people listed on the state's child-support enforcement division database that their identity may be on the desktop that was stolen Oct. 14.
The Dallas-based company also maintains the state's Directory of New Hires, a federally mandated requirement that employers provide names and information of any new employees to the state within 20 days of their hire. That database, which may contain nearly a million records, is checked against the state's child-support enforcement registry to catch scofflaws.
It's unclear how many records, which include birth dates and Social Security numbers, were affected, but the new hires information is supposed to be purged every six months.
Police don't believe personal financial records have been compromised, said Liz McDonough, spokeswoman with the Department of Human Services said Wednesday.
"Law enforcement hasn't given any indication that the computer was stolen for the purpose of identity theft," McDonough said.
Tom Kraus, of Wheat Ridge, received a letter advising of the theft even though he finished paying child support in 2001. Kraus also had personal information stored in a laptop computer that was stolen earlier this year, and later recovered from the Veterans Administration. That breach potentially affected 26 million people.
"So far, nothing has happened to me, but I have to keep up on it," Kraus said. "It's work and it costs money."
Kevin Lightfoot, spokesman for ACS, would not say whether his company would reimburse people for the cost of their credit reports or any theft that may result.
The computer was stored at an ACS office in a secure area monitored by surveillance cameras accessible only by password, officials said, but so far the Colorado Bureau of Investigation has no suspects.
The state's child-support enforcement division handles about $350 million a year in payments.
"The money is not connected to this," McDonough said. "Even if the security of the computer system is breached, they cannot steal child-support payments."
ACS's $5.5 million contract with the state, which it has had since 1999, won't be renewed when it ends next year, McDonough said.