22. May 2006 · Comments Off on How do these things happen? · Categories: General

Thieves steal 26.5million veterans’ “personal data”

Apparently, a VA employee took home a laptop containing veterans’ information, in order to work on a project from home. The information included names, birthdates, and Social Security numbers. This is, of course, against all bureau policies. (interesting – the news vid I saw earlier said it was a disk – now it’s a laptop)

Sometime after that, the employee’s house was burgled, and the veterans’ data came up missing.

The employee, according to the news-piece I saw before leaving work today, is “on leave.” Why is the employee not fired? Or at least suspended?

Those of you in the know – what would be the result if a military person had done this? I keep wondering if it was really stolen, or if it was … deliberately mislaid… you know, where someone who paid a ton of money could find it. Have I gotten too cynical in my old age? Turned into a conspiracy-theorist in spite of my best efforts?

And should we be worried, that somewhere out there, someone has a disk that potentially contains data on all veterans from 1975 and later? Exactly the kind of data that identity thefts are happy to come across?

The VA has set up a hotline (1-800-FED-INFO) and a website for our further edification, or in case you have concerns that your identity has been stolen as a result of this fiasco.

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