From Gunnar Peterson at 1 raindrop… 

This is ridiculous. Yahoo:

“Thieves took sensitive personal information on 26.5 million U.S. veterans, including Social Security numbers and birth dates, after a Veterans Affairs employee improperly brought the material home, the government said Monday.

“Nicholson said there was no evidence the thieves had used the data for identity theft, and an investigation was continuing.”

Sure they are probably just using it as a test bed for arbitarily large data sets for a charitable open source projectRamona Joyce, spokeswoman for the American Legion, agreed that the theft was a concern. “In the information age, we're constantly told to protect our information. We would ask no less of the VA,” she said.

Nicholson declined to comment on the specifics of the incident, which involved a midlevel data analyst who had taken the information home to suburban Maryland on a laptop to work on a department project.

“I want to emphasize there was no medical records of any veteran and no financial information of any veteran that's been compromised,” Nicholson said, although he added later that some information on the veterans’ disabilities may have been taken.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who is a Vietnam veteran, said he would introduce legislation to require the VA to provide credit reports to the veterans affected by the theft.

“This is no way to treat those who have worn the uniform of our country,” Kerry said. “Someone needs to be fired.”

Sorry, but firing people is not going to fix this problem. Instead, maybe GWB could increase his popularity by adopting Pete Lindstrom's modest plan to Eliminate the SSN Facade. And while we are at it, why not write the Laws of Identity into the Constitution? Ok, maybe not on that last one, but how about we use the Laws in the systems we build?

Regular readers know I am a great fan of the “there was no evidence the thieves had used the data for identity theft” line.  Oh.  And just one more thing.  Please refrain from taking the munitions home with you for the weekend. 

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Kim Cameron

Work on identity.


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