1.8 million records lost by the VA, again

Quite clearly the administration has zero interest in protecting the privacy of its citizens because it seemed like only yesterday that the Veterans Administration was in turmoil after losing 26.5 million records. The VA told everyone that there was nothing to worry about and that the data wasn’t accessed. Most organizations might have learned a lesson from that experience and at least started with what many would consider being the first step in security, which is physical security, as in locking down the computer hardware so it is unable to walk away. Nope, not with this team. Jim Nicholson is probably about due for a medal by Bush since he knows how to ignore a problem as well as anyone.

The Department of Veterans Affairs began notifying 1.8 million veterans and doctors Monday that their personal and business information could be on a portable hard drive that has been missing from an Alabama hospital for nearly three weeks.

The hard drive may have contained numbers and other personal information from about 535,000 individuals and billing information on 1.3 million doctors nationwide, the VA said. That’s more than 37 times more people than authorities initially believed were affected.

Note the words “may have contained.” All too often, statements like that mean “most certainly contained personal information but we are hoping this will blow over and people will ignore the follow up story which will confirm the data loss.”


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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