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Flash drives containing personal information lost in western Japanese city

New Straits Times logo New Straits Times 24/6/2022 New Straits Times
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AMAGASAKI (Japan): Authorities in the western Japanese city of Amagasaki said they have lost USB flash drives containing personal information on all of its roughly 460,000 residents.

They said the lost data included residents' names, addresses, dates of birth and the bank account numbers of households that received welfare payments, among other things.

According to a Kyodo News report, city authorities however said there was no evidence of any data being leaked so far. The city also said that the data was encrypted and protected with a password.

Detailing the loss of the data, they said an employee of a company hired to assist in the city's rollout of Covid-19 relief funds, lost a bag with the USB drives inside it, after dining and drinking at a restaurant on Tuesday. The employee reported the loss to the police on Wednesday.

"We will thoroughly ensure security management when handling electronic data. We will work to regain our residents' trust by heightening awareness of the importance of protecting personal information," the city said in a statement.

The Asahi Shimbun daily said the employee worked for a company that was subcontracted by the Kansai regional branch of Biprogy Inc. in Osaka.

It said the employee took the device from the municipality's administration information centre to transfer the data.

The Amagasaki city government has also reportedly not given Biprogy's regional branch any permission to transport personal information in USB storage devices.

The city has set up a hotline for residents who are concerned that someone could gain access to their personal information.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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