A laptop containing the fingerprints of nearly 300 Internal Revenue Service employees and job applicants is missing, according to published reports. In total, the agency said that it believes the computer contained information on 291 employees and job applicants, including their fingerprints, names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth.

A spokesman for the agency said that taxpayer data is kept on completely different systems, and no taxpayer information was at risk. He also said that the fingerprints and other information contained on the computer could not be used to create forged IRS official documentation. The computer was lost during transit on an airline flight. The IRS has already attempted to contact all of the people affected by telephone, and will soon send out notification letters. Data on the laptop was not encrypted, but was double-password protected. The laptop has been classified as missing, not stolen, and the matter was turned over to the IRS Inspector General's Office.

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