Man loses flash drive with data from entire city residents after going out for drinks

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Drinking after work probably sounded like a good idea – but for a worker in Japan the hangover will likely last for a while.

The man. Not identified. lost a flash drive containing the personal details of all residents of the southern city of Amagasaki after drinking this week, according to a city government statement released Thursday.

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Public broadcaster NHK reported that the worker, a man in his 40s, fell asleep on the street after drinking alcohol in a restaurant. When he woke up, his bag containing the flash drive was gone.

The man works for a company tasked with providing benefits to tax-exempt families, according to the city government’s statement.

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On Tuesday (21), he went to the city’s information center and transferred the residents’ data to a flash drive. The data included names, birth dates and addresses for 465,177 people – the entire population of the city.

The flash drive also contained confidential information, including tax details, names, bank account numbers, and information about families receiving public assistance, such as day care payments.

On Wednesday, the official searched for the device but could not find it, so he filed a report of loss of property with the police, according to the government statement. Late in the afternoon, the company notified city authorities of the loss.

The flash drive is encrypted and no data leaks have been confirmed yet, officials said. Although the employee was authorized to access the data, he was not allowed to transfer it to a separate device.

The statement also criticized the official for failing to erase the data from the flash drive after completing his work at city hall and for carrying it in person rather than using a safer method of transportation.

Authorities held a press conference on Thursday, with the city’s mayor and other officials bowing in apologies to residents.

The city will make payments to eligible families without delay and provide more information about the case as they investigate, the official statement said — which ended with a reminder for government officials to obtain permission before removing flash drives from city offices.

Source: CNN Brasil

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