State of Ohio Data Theft Case

On June 15, 2007, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland announced that a computer storage device, which contained the personal information of thousands of state workers and citizens, had been stolen. This created a fear among thousands of Ohioans that their identities might be assumed by another person.

The computer device was stolen from a State of Ohio intern's car. It contained the personal information of approximately 200,000 Ohioans, including the Social Security numbers of all of Ohio's state employees (64,000 people), as well as the names and case numbers of 84,000 welfare recipients and thousands of other Ohioans. As of August 2007, law enforcement officials had not caught the thief. They also had not retrieved the device.

Governor Strickland directed the State of Ohio to purchase insurance for each affected person, protecting them from financial hardship if their identities are assumed by another person. Strickland also limited which state employees would have access to or could take sensitive files home. Former Governor Bob Taft initiated the policy that allowed interns to take such material and devices to their homes.