Monday, May 22, 2006

Information on 26 Million Veterans Stolen

According to Reuters, "Personal data on about 26.5 million U.S. military veterans was stolen from the residence of a Department of Veterans Affairs data analyst who improperly took the material home, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said Monday."

This sounds like another laptop was stolen from a home, although the story does not make that clear. More incidents like these may result in stricter measures regarding the use of laptops. Although this may also give businesses a chance to tell the government, "fix your own house."

Interestingly, Secretary Nicholson said the employee "took home a considerable amount of electronic data from the VA which he was not authorized to do. It was in violation of our rules and regulations and policies."

News reports say the information included names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth, but "there is no indication at this time" that identity theft has occurred as a result.

Most likely it will not, but out of 26 million people, some will surely be victims of identity theft soon enough, and who will be able to say what the cause will be?

Secretary Jim Nicholson said the FBI, local law enforcement authorities and the Veteran's Affairs Inspector General were all investigating what appears to be an ordinary burglary.

He also said: "The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. We have a full-scale investigation going on in this."


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