by CIO Staff

Data on 26.5M Veterans Stolen from VA Staffer’s Home

May 22, 2006 2 mins

Sensitive personal information on 26.5 million U.S. veterans, including Social Security numbers and discharge records, was stolen from a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employee’s residence in suburban Maryland after the staffer took the data home without proper approval, the Associated Press reports via The Wall Street Journal.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson told the AP the department so far has no reason to believe the stolen data has been put to use or that the thieves are aware of what it is. The staffer, a data analyst who was not specifically identified by name, has been put on leave until a more in-depth review can be conducted, according to the AP.

The VA is notifying members of Congress and the specific veterans, and it’s opening up a call center and website for veterans who suspect that their personal information has been illegally used, the AP reports. The department also plans to re-examine its policies and procedures for the housing of sensitive data by employees who work remotely, according to the AP.

The FBI, VA inspector general and local law enforcement agencies are all investigating, the AP reports.

The stolen data, which is thought to have been on disks, contained sensitive information on all living vets who served and were discharged since 1976, the AP reports.

Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.