Another Laptop with Vet Info Missing
The Department of Veterans Affairs disclosed late Monday that another laptop containing data on up to 38,000 veterans has gone missing. The loss of the data is the result of a possible theft of a laptop from third-party contractor Unisys. The department was informed of the issue on August 3.
News of this latest loss comes just days after two teens were arrested in Maryland in conjunction with the theft of a government laptop with data on 26.5 million veterans and active duty personnel. The laptop was stolen in May, and recovered in late June.
Data contained on these laptops may include names, addresses, social security numbers, and dates of birth. In addition to this information, medical insurance claims along with billing details and dates of service in the military were also included in the data.
Information about 5,000 patients who were treated in Philadelphia, approximately 11,000 patients treated in Pittsburgh, and approximately 2,000 deceased patients are included. An additional 20,000 treated in Pittsburgh may have also been included in the information, although the VA could not confirm this.
"VA's Inspector General, the FBI and local law enforcement are conducting a thorough investigation of this matter," Veterans Affairs secretary R. James Nicholson said. He added the agency itself was making progress on data security, but the loss of a third-party laptop underscored the work still needing to be done.
In a statement, Unisys said it was performing an internal investigation into what occurred leading up to the loss of the laptop. "Unisys will be working with VA regarding the notification of potentially affected veterans and the offering of credit monitoring," it said. "The company will continue to work with the VA and law enforcement to address this incident."