Transportation Security Administration halts airport pre-screening program over missing laptop

From Bloomberg News

The Transportation Security Administration suspended Verified Identity Pass Inc. from enrolling travelers in its pre-screening program after a laptop 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 interested in joining the program, the Transportation Security Administration said Monday in a statement.

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 through security checkpoints more quickly at 17 U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International Airport, Verified Identity Pass said.

In Northern California, the program operates at airports in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.

“We don’t believe the security or privacy of these would-be members will be compromised in any way,” Chief Executive Steven Brill said.

The laptop was stolen from a locked office in the airport, the company said.

Verified Identity Pass has more than 200,000 customers. It has started notifying the affected people about the breach.

Current participants in the program shouldn’t be affected, the Transportation Security Administration said.