By Dave Donaldson
Personal information about more than 77-thousand Alaskans is missing — and officials are concerned that it might have been the result of identity theft.
The people involved were teachers, state employees or retirees in 2004 or before.
Attorney General Daniel Sullivan says accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers was doing contract work for the state in a lawsuit against Mercer, Incorporated, the state retirement system’s former actuary.
Price Waterhouse Coopers has accepted responsibility for the lost documents, and has agreed to cover the cost of protecting those whose information could have been compromised. Sullivan says the company will pay for credit monitoring or credit security freezes, and will reimburse any Alaskans for losses as a result of the security breech.
He says there’s no indication that any of the information has been misused.
A number of times, these cases, nothing bad happens, but we’re acting as an abundance of caution, and to be honest, we’re hoping the firm misplaced this, finds it. And that’s still a possibility. And we have been working very diligently with them to make sure they are looking at every possibility of where this information might be.
Price Waterhouse Coopers found out in early December that it was missing the information — which contained names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of those in the state system. Sullivan says they only notified the state of the loss last week.
Let’s just say when I heard about it and understood when they originally knew about it, that it wasn’t … we weren’t pleased, and the initial phone call from me to the senior officials at Price Waterhouse Coopers wasn’t very pleasant.
All of those whose names were on the missing documents will be notified by the Department of Administration, detailing what they can do for their own protection. An eight hundred number has also been set up to handle concerns. That number is 1-800-821-2251. More information has also been posted to the Department of Administration’s website at doa.alaska.gov.