Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Theft of identities can happen, exposes weakness of Nat'l ID

The GMA government is pushing through with the national ID system. The Executive Order defining it asures everyone that the data there will be kept confidential through some cryptographic system

Cases of stolen data have been news in the US and in some European countries. The appended news is about the theft of personal data on US troops.

If theft of identities can happen in the US and European countries, would that not happen here, too?


Personal data on 2.2 million US troops stolen

WASHINGTON - Personal information on about 2.2 million active-duty, National Guard and Reserve troops might have been stolen last month from a government employee's house, officials said on Tuesday in the latest revelation of a widening scandal.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said the information, including names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth, could have been stored in the same stolen electronic equipment that contained similar personal data on 26.5 million US military veterans.
In the wrong hands, such data can be used in credit-card fraud and other crimes.
The government disclosed on May 22 that unidentified burglars on May 3 had broken into the Maryland residence of a Veterans Affairs employee who was not authorized to take the data home, and stole equipment containing the veterans' data.
Later, the government said personal information on about 50,000 active-duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel may have been involved.
But now Veterans Affairs said that as it and the Pentagon compared electronic files, officials discovered that personal information on as many as 1.1 million military members on active duty, 430,000 National Guard troops and 645,000 members of the Reserves may have been included in the data theft.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said it receives records for all military troops because they become eligible to receive certain benefits, such as GI Bill educational assistance and a home-loan guaranty program.
Law enforcement agencies investigating the incident have no indication that the stolen information has been used to commit identity theft, the Department said in a statement. Reuters

No comments: