The Navy said on Friday that it was trying to determine how personal information on more than 100,000 Navy and Marine Corp aviators and air crew wound up on a publicly available Web site for more than six months.
In a fresh case of private information on military personnel being compromised, the full names and social security numbers of both active and reserve members appeared on the Naval Safety Center Web site atlast December.
Those affected are believed to include any Navy or Marine Corp aviator who has served during the past 20 years.
The same information was also disseminated late last year to Navy and Marine Corps commands on 1,083 program disks mailed out as part of the service's Web Enabled Safety Program.
The Naval Safety Center found out about the problem and removed the information from the web site on Thursday, a week after the recovery of a stolen Veterans Affairs Department laptop that contained sensitive information on more than 26 million U.S. military veterans and service members.
The center is now recalling the mailed program disks.
As in the case of the Veterans Affairs laptop, the Navy said there was no evidence that any of the disseminated data has been used illegally.
But the service is notifying those affected by mail and setting up a24-hour call center to handle queries.
Safety center spokeswoman Evelyn Odango said the problem appeared to be an errant file.
"The information was inadvertently included in a file that was then posted on the Web," she said. "We found out about it through a Web site user and it was removed immediately."
Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.
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