After the Veterans Administration's big data loss last year, the agency made a big point about how it was going to clean up its act and start encrypting all sensitive data. That claim was pretty well busted a few weeks ago, after the administration announced that it had lost a hard drive containing info on 48,000 vets, much of it unencrypted. It turns out that the agency's initial statement on how much data was lost was a little on the low side... by a factor of 10, actually. Apparently, the hard drive had sensitive data on 535,000 people, as well as non-sensitive data on another 1.3 million non-VA physicians, alive and dead. Some are wondering whether the VA deliberately low-balled the initial number in hopes of downplaying the severity of the loss. While this is a possibility, it seems equally likely that the VA just doesn't have a good handle on things, and that it honestly didn't know what was on the hard drive. Or maybe the VA felt the need to boost the number since it was worried that it was losing its title as the worst handler of data to the FBI.
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