Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Veterans' ID theft lawsuit

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is being sued by former congressional candidate & Indian Hill lawyer Paul Hackett on behalf of the 26.5 million veterans whose personal information was stolen from VA earlier this month. The suit is seeking $1,000 per person in damages and the covering of the cost of having credit monitoring services. (Complaint)

An Enquirer article this morning cites one of the attorneys filing the action as saying “the government can’t afford to wait for thieves to use the data (stolen) for illegal purposes…. (it) could pay credit monitoring services a relatively small amount, possibly less than $10 per veteran, to monitor the credit of the 26.5 million veterans affected by the theft.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs, meanwhile, has a posted announcement on its website which, first of all, says the data stolen didn’t include any of VA’s electronic health records or financial information.

“The Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs has briefed the Attorney General and Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, co-chairs of the President’s Identity Theft Task Force,” the announcement further says, “and Task Force members have already taken action to protect affected veterans, including working with credit bureaus to help ensure veterans receive the free credit report they are entitled to under the law.”

Additional information is also available on FirstGov and the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

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