Thursday, March 5, 2009

Records of Criminal Background Checks Run in Arkansas

This is kinda scary. If you live in AR check out this site. All of my personal info. (ss#, drivers license #, birthday, etc) has been lost (and potentially exposed), along with about 800,000 Arkansans. This came to my attention through an email from work. The following is one of the articles linked to the email. You can read the original version here.

Records of Criminal Background Checks Run in Arkansas
Potentially Exposed

The Arkansas Department of Information Systems (DIS) was informed at the end of
January that a vendor providing secure off-site storage for electronic records and computer
files was unable to locate a DIS computer tape in its inventory. The tape contained information
from criminal-background checks run on approximately 807,000 people over at least 12 years.
The vendor, Information Vaulting Services (IVS), had records showing the tape in its
possession, but a thorough search of their facility failed to turn up the tape. Arkansas State
Police has investigated and to this point has found no evidence of an intentional security breach
or other wrongdoing. IVS believes there is little risk that this information has been
compromised. Nonetheless, since IVS cannot account for the tape, DIS officials have decided to
take the precautionary measure of alerting the public about the potential exposure of this

"We have taken every step possible to recreate where the loss of these backup tapes
occurred, and these tapes were redundant, second extra copies, of information," Danny Palo,
Chief Operating Officer of IVS, said. "This is the first time in six years of service to DIS that this
has happened. IVS has immediately taken steps to tighten procedures that will virtually
eliminate the possibility of this ever happening again.”

Anyone who has undergone a criminal-background check in Arkansas since the mid-1990s, and wants to know if his/her personal information was included on the lost computer tape, can find out either by phone or on the Internet. By calling 1-888-682-0411 or going online
to, interested parties can determine if their name is on the list by entering
or sharing their first name, last name at the time of the background check and their date of
birth. No other personal information will be asked for, even for verification purposes. The call
center will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m.

While IVS stresses that it believes that there is little chance of this information being
compromised, anyone concerned can obtain a free credit report as provided by federal law. By
visiting, consumers can check their credit activity through one of the
three major credit bureaus to look for any unauthorized credit activity. Consumers are allowed
one report from each of the three bureaus every twelve months.

DIS keeps backup copies of this information offsite to comply with federal standards and
to ensure that the information is accessible should the original versions become unavailable
through disaster or malfunction. In addition, DIS has encrypted backup information stored off
site for enhanced security.