A Japanese city has been left with more than a headache after admitting a contractor lost a USB containing personal data on all 460,000 residents during a night out.
The western city of Amagasaki said Thursday that a private contractor, whose name has not been disclosed, was carrying the memory stick during drinks after work.
But the individual, who was working on a municipal pandemic relief programme, lost the bag containing the USB on Tuesday evening.
“We deeply regret that we have profoundly harmed the public’s trust in the administration of the city,” an Amagasaki official told a press conference.
The information was copied onto the USB to facilitate its transfer to a call centre in nearby Osaka.
It included the names, genders, addresses, birthdays and other personal information of all the city’s residents, as well as tax data and bank account information on some locals, the city said.
But there may be a silver lining, as the city says the data was encrypted and the USB locked with a password. So far, officials said, there was no sign the information had been accessed.
The loss has been reported to police, who are investigating.