Discuss as:

Secret Service says it lost two computer backup tapes in 2008

The Secret Service confirmed Friday that it lost two computer backup tapes in 2008 but said it knew of no fraud that had been committed using the information on them.


The tapes were left on a Washington Metro subway train in February 2008 by a contract employee who was taking them to a storage facility, the agency said in a statement. It said that the tapes weren't "marked or identified in any way" and that they couldn't be accessed without proper codes and equipment.

The inspector general's office of the Department of Homeland Security, to which the Secret Service reports, was notified of the loss at the time, the agency said.


Watch US News videos on NBCNews.com

"The Secret Service complied with all guidelines related to loss of information," the agency said, but Fox News, which first reported the loss, quoted sources it didn't identify as disputing that claim and saying the inspector general had opened an investigation:

Sources said the "personally identifiable information" — or "PII," in government-speak — on the tapes includes combinations of the following: Social Security Numbers; home addresses; information about family members; phone numbers; dates of birth; medical information; bank account numbers; employment information; driver's license numbers; passport numbers; and any biometric information on file with the Secret Service. ...

Congressional and law enforcement sources told FoxNews.com that the Secret Service failed to comply with strict DHS-wide procedure for reporting and responding to privacy incidents where personally identifying information is lost, released or otherwise compromised. 

In May, a Colombian escort claimed to be at the center of the Secret Service prostitution scandal. NBC's Mark Potter reports.

Congressional investigators and the Homeland Security inspector general are already reviewing the Secret Service for its handling of an incident in April, when 13 employees were implicated in a prostitution scandal during a presidential visit to Cartagena, Colombia, where President Barack Obama was visiting.

Eight of those Secret Service employees have been forced out of the agency and three were cleared of serious misconduct. At least two others were fighting to get their jobs back.

The inspector general's report into that incident is expected in the spring.

More content from NBCNews.com:

Follow US news from NBCNews.com on Twitter and Facebook