Computer Drive Missing with Personal Data on U. Northern Colo. Employees

Information technology department drive has disappeared with private info, department unsure on whether it was misplaced or stolen


GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - University of Northern Colorado officials say a computer hard drive containing vital personal information on thousands of current and former employees is missing.

University President Kay Norton said Thursday campus police have opened a criminal investigation. It was not clear whether the hard drive was stolen, removed by accident or misplaced.

The drive contains full names, addresses, Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and dates of birth for 15,790 full- and part-time employees, including student employees, dating to April 1997.

The drive was reported missing from the Information Technology Department. University officials said it would take specialized equipment and expertise to retrieve the data.

At a meeting attended by about 100 employees, Norton suggested security precautions they could take to protect themselves.

Patty Roberts, 52, of Fort Collins, who left UNC last November after nine years, said she was worried.

``I'm alarmed and concerned, wondering if I need to change my bank account info because I have the same bank account,'' Roberts said.

It was the second identity-theft alarm in Greeley in less than three months. In November, Weld County deputies discovered that a jail inmate had downloaded Social Security numbers, bank numbers and other personal information on 1,000 county employees using a computer meant for legal research.