Well this surprising news story just came down today. Thieves have stolen sensitive personal identifying information on over twenty-six million five hundred thousand United States military veterans including social security numbers, dates of birth and other personal information. Thieves were able to steal this private data from one Veterans Affairs’ employee who apparently took this information home. Now several million military veterans may become victims of identity theft. Why in the world would an employee somehow feel the need to bring home sensitive work-related personal identifying information about twenty-six million five hundred thousand people? If you ask me, our banks, financial institutions and government are supposed to have sufficient security checks in place to prevent stupid employees from doing stupid things. Maybe this Veterans Affairs employee meant well but he or she has caused such a stir that people may require credit monitoring for years. This stupidity leads me once again to say that the risk of liability could serve a useful preventative purpose here.
If you are a veteran, you may be a victim. Apparently, the Veterans Affairs Department set up a hotline for information to assist in evaluating your options. Simply call 1-800-FED-INFO for further information. If we demand that banks protect our checks, stocks and cash safely and securely, then shouldn’t we also demand that our social security numbers and other personal identifying information be treated the same way? Shouldn’t we also demand that employees have only limited acces to this information and only as needed? Shouldn’t we demand civil accountability in case of a breach of these simple safety and security demands? I think so.