A couple days ago this came out on USAToday: VA computer disk stolen
WASHINGTON (AP) â€” Personal data, including Social Security numbers of 26.5 million U.S. veterans, was stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee this month after he took the information home without authorization, the department said Monday.
The theft of stolen information comes as the department has come under criticism for shoddy accounting practices and for falling short on the needs of veterans. Last year, more than 260,000 veterans could not sign up for services because of cost-cutting. Audits also have shown the agency used misleading accounting methods and lacked documentation to prove its claimed savings.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said there was no evidence so far that the burglars who struck the employee’s home have used the personal data â€” or even know they have it. The employee, a data analyst whom Nicholson would not identify, has been placed on leave pending a review.
(bold highlighting mine)
They go on to say, “We have a full-scale investigation,” said Nicholson, who said the FBI, local law enforcement and the VA inspector general were investigating. “I want to emphasize, there was no medical records of any veteran and no financial information of any veteran that’s been compromised.”
They don’t need the medical information … heck it’s likely already out there for sale!
OK, so nobody who steals things can put two and two together and come up with four? With the information on those disks, combined with the information already stolen in past ‘data breaches,’ it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that if data equates to money these days, all one would have to do is buy up/sell as much data as possible and cross search to get pretty much all they’d need.
I can not believe a VA employee would even put Veterans at risk by taking disks containing all this information home in the first place! And call me paranoid but, what are the odds that on the very day he takes it home, a burglar would burglarize that very guy’s house. Wow, he’s either the most unlucky guy on the face of the planet, or there is more to this than meets the eye. Just seems a little phishy to me. 😉
If one were even the least bit suspicious about whether ANY government or corporation should be in charge of the personal information of Citizenry, this and the following information from PrivacyRights.org should be a real wakeup call:
In the words of the silly little program Eye Drops which was on the now defunct TechTV: Think about that!