32 CFR 310.14 - Notification when information is lost, stolen, or compromised.
(a) If records containing personal information are lost, stolen, or compromised, the potential exists that the records may be used for unlawful purposes, such as identity theft, fraud, stalking, etc. The personal impact on the affected individual may be severe if the records are misused. To assist the individual, the Component shall promptly notify the individual of any loss, theft, or compromise (See also, § 310.50 for reporting of the breach to Senior Component Official for Privacy and the Defense Privacy Office).
(1) The notification shall be made whenever a breach occurs that involves personal information pertaining to a service member, civilian employee (appropriated or non-appropriated fund), military retiree, family member, DoD contractor, other persons that are affiliated with the Component (e.g., volunteer), and/or any other member of the public on whom information is maintained by the Component or by a contractor on behalf of the Component.
(2) The notification shall be made as soon as possible, but not later than 10 working days after the loss, theft, or compromise is discovered and the identities of the individuals ascertained.
(ii) If the Component is only able to identify some but not all of the affected individuals, notification shall be given to those that can be identified with follow-up notifications made to those subsequently identified.
(iii) If the Component cannot readily identify the affected individuals or will not be able to identify the individuals, the Component shall provide a generalized notice to the potentially impacted population by whatever means the Component believes is most likely to reach the affected individuals.
(3) When personal information is maintained by a DoD contractor on behalf of the Component, the contractor shall notify the Component immediately upon discovery that a loss, theft or compromise has occurred.
(ii) If the contractor is to notify the impacted population, it shall submit the notification letters to the Component for review and approval. The Component shall coordinate with the Contractor to ensure the letters meet the requirements of § 310.14.
(4) Subject to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the Component shall inform the Deputy Secretary of Defense of the reasons why notice was not provided to the individuals or the affected population within the 10-day period.
(i) If for good cause (e.g., law enforcement authorities request delayed notification as immediate notification will jeopardize investigative efforts), notice can be delayed, but the delay shall only be for a reasonable period of time. In determining what constitutes a reasonable period of delay, the potential harm to the individual must be weighed against the necessity for delayed notification.
(ii) The required notification shall be prepared and forwarded to the Senior Component Official for Privacy who shall forward it to the Defense Privacy Office. The Defense Privacy Office, in coordination with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, shall forward the notice to the Deputy Secretary.
(5) The notice to the individual, at a minimum, shall include the following:
(i) The individuals shall be advised of what specific data was involved. It is insufficient to simply state that personal information has been lost. Where names, social security numbers, and dates of birth are involved, it is critical that the individual be advised that these data elements potentially have been compromised.
(ii) The individual shall be informed of the facts and circumstances surrounding the loss, theft, or compromise. The description of the loss should be sufficiently detailed so that the individual clearly understands how the compromise occurred.
(iii) The individual shall be informed of what protective actions the Component is taking or the individual can take to mitigate against potential future harm. The Component should refer the individual to the Federal Trade Commission's public Web site on identity theft at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/con_steps.htm. The site provides valuable information as to what steps individuals can take to protect themselves if their identities potentially have been or are stolen.
(iv) A sample notification letter is at appendix B.
(b) The notification shall be made whether or not the personal information is contained in a system of records (See § 310.10(a)).