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S.D. Guard airmen personal data leaked to company

Mar. 12, 2014 - 11:12AM   |  
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — More than 1,000 South Dakota Air National Guard members are being advised to protect their credit details after a unit member sent an email containing their personal information to a real estate company.

114th Fighter Wing commander Col. Russ Walz told airmen in a letter that names, Social Security numbers, home addresses, birthdays and phone numbers were included in the March 2 email, KELO-TV reported.

Walz said there was a “low probability the compromised information will be used for an unlawful purpose,” but he acknowledged that he “cannot say with certainty that this may or may not occur.” He said airmen might want to place a fraud alert on their credit files if they are worried about their personal information being at risk.

Walz’s letter did not explain how or why that email was sent. He concluded with an apology and a pledge by the Guard to review policies to prevent a similar situation from occurring.

South Dakota Guard spokesman Maj. Anthony Deiss told The Associated Press on Wednesday that any decisions on possible discipline for the unit member who sent the email will not be made until the investigation is complete.

The compromise was reported to the National Guard Bureau and then to the Department of Defense Privacy Office for investigation.

“The SD Air National Guard is currently investigating this matter. The Air Guard takes any disclosure of any personal identifying information seriously and believes this disclosure was limited in scope,” Deiss said in a statement to KELO. “The Air Guard has notified the airmen of the compromise and have implemented measures to further restrict and retrieve the information that was disseminated. We cannot provide any further details regarding this incident, as the investigation is ongoing.”

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