Christine Stuart photo

The two year investigation of a stolen laptop containing the information of 106,000 Connecticut taxpayers has come to an end.

State officials say the Department of Revenue Services laptop taken from a state employee’s vehicle in 2007 has never been found, but lessons were learned.

“The information on this laptop should never have been there in the first place,” Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday upon the release of the state auditors report.

Prior to the theft, Blumenthal said any DRS employee with a computer network could “see, take, and change any information without any accountability.”

“There’s no question that the Department of Revenue Services botched its response to this data breach,” Blumenthal said.

He said since the theft of the laptop from Tax Unit Supervisor Jason Purlow’s car, procedures and protocols have been put in place to prevent confidential taxpayer information from leaving the office. Purlow is still employed by DRS, but was given a 30-day suspension without pay in October 2007, a month after the laptop was stolen.

According to the joint report by Blumenthal and the state auditors DRS has implemented greater restrictions on access and storage, established more comprehensive procedures to protect taxpayer information, and encrypted laptops and electronic mobile storage devices.

The report recommended that the agency stop using real taxpayer information for testing and training. In addition it recommended that the agency alert both the taxpayers and law enforcement if taxpayer information is ever improperly accessed in the future.

Blumenthal said the report may prompt other state agencies to do an internal review of their procedures too.

None of the taxpayer information, which was on the stolen and still missing laptop, has been misused.