Sources said the tapes were lost on the Red Line of the Metro in 2008 by a young, low-level associate of a private contracting company that had been hired to transport them from Secret Service’s Investigative Resources Management division at the agency’s headquarters in the Penn Quarter section of Washington, D.C., to a secure vault in Olney, Md., where government agencies store contingency plans, documents and other backup material. The employee had volunteered to deliver the tapes because he lived near the location of the vault, but got off at the Glenmont, Md., Metro stop without the tapes, according to sources.
Sources said the “personally identifiable information” — or “PII,” in government-speak — on the tapes includes combinations of the following: Social Security Numbers; home addresses; information about family members; phone numbers; dates of birth; medical information; bank account numbers; employment information; driver’s license numbers; passport numbers; and any biometric information on file with the Secret Service.
Apparently the information was encrypted, but only at a basic level. And the Secret Service just swept the loss under the rug once they determined that it had happened.