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VA Left Vets Vulnerable to Identity Theft

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Judul : VA Left Vets Vulnerable to Identity Theft
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VA Left Vets Vulnerable to Identity Theft

The Department of Veterans Affairs illegally granted roughly 25,000 people access to veterans' personal information including social security numbers, addresses, and medical histories, according to a government watchdog.

The agency's inspector general found that numerous VA and agency-affiliated employees across the country had access to sensitive information stored on unprotected shared servers, even if they had no official reasons to be privy to such information. Those practices left veterans "at significant risk" of having their identities misused or stolen.

"Without better protection, veterans and VA are at risk," the inspector general report said. "Veterans are at significant risk of unauthorized disclosure and misuse of their sensitive personal information. This has the potential to expose veterans to fraud and identity theft."

The watchdog report, published last week, stemmed from a whistleblower complaint at VA offices in Milwaukee originally filed in September 2018. The investigation found that both VA employees and members of veterans service organizations had unauthorized access to private data. Veterans service organizations are authorized by the VA to help veterans acclimate to a civilian lifestyle and navigate the VA bureaucracy.

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[Notice to Veterans: The VA Health Information Exchange Opt Out Form, VA Form 10-10164, is now available online on this va.gov website, or in Release of Information Office (ROI) at VA medical centers. The form must be signed, mailed and/or hand carried to a Veteran's local Release of Information Office. VA Systems will begin opting all Veterans into health information sharing during or after January 2020. Learn more here. ]


from The Department of Veterans Affairs illegally granted roughly 25,000 people access to veterans' personal information including social security numbers, addresses, and medical histories, according to a government watchdog.

The agency's inspector general found that numerous VA and agency-affiliated employees across the country had access to sensitive information stored on unprotected shared servers, even if they had no official reasons to be privy to such information. Those practices left veterans "at significant risk" of having their identities misused or stolen.

"Without better protection, veterans and VA are at risk," the inspector general report said. "Veterans are at significant risk of unauthorized disclosure and misuse of their sensitive personal information. This has the potential to expose veterans to fraud and identity theft."

The watchdog report, published last week, stemmed from a whistleblower complaint at VA offices in Milwaukee originally filed in September 2018. The investigation found that both VA employees and members of veterans service organizations had unauthorized access to private data. Veterans service organizations are authorized by the VA to help veterans acclimate to a civilian lifestyle and navigate the VA bureaucracy.

More


[Notice to Veterans: The VA Health Information Exchange Opt Out Form, VA Form 10-10164, is now available online on this va.gov website, or in Release of Information Office (ROI) at VA medical centers. The form must be signed, mailed and/or hand carried to a Veteran's local Release of Information Office. VA Systems will begin opting all Veterans into health information sharing during or after January 2020. Learn more here. ]
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