State financial chief demoted over stolen data

first_imgSACRAMENTO – The acting commissioner for the Department of Financial Institutions was demoted Friday and an employee he supervised was to be fired after his laptop computer containing data on 232 people and 216 businesses was stolen, state officials said. The examiner in the department for six years broke protocol by leaving the computer in his car and by failing to encrypt the information, said Chris Nance, deputy secretary for communications for the Department of Business, Transportation & Housing. The computer contained tax identification numbers for commercial bank accounts and the Social Security numbers of bank customers, Nance said. There were no bank account or credit card numbers or other personal information on the computer. Brian Yuen, the acting commissioner, was returned to his previous role as chief examiner on Friday and was notifying all the affected customers of the breach. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“We have a zero-tolerance for any lapses in protecting the public trust. He was in an acting capacity and we need to have him focus on the examinations end of things,” Nance said. “This is the first time this has happened since (the department) was created in 1909. DFI has a long record of securing financial records.” The computer and a calculator were stolen from the employee’s car May 26 in Marin County. The break-in was one of several in the area and was immediately reported to the sheriff’s department and the California Highway Patrol, Nance said. “This most likely is a random act of burglary and vandalism,” he said. Although the staffer failed to encrypt the data as state regulations require, the computer is password protected and a thief would need to use multiple passwords to access it, Nance said. The department was in the process of firing the employee, who was not named. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cabinet secretary, Fred Aguiar, sent a memo Friday to department heads reminding them of the state’s policy on confidential, sensitive or personal information.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more