Sunday, June 17, 2007

Loss of identity

Unstable Material
I just knew this photo would come in handy.

Two weeks ago, the Department of Veteran's Affairs saw fit to inform me via a form letter that a database with my identity as a physician, including social security number, physician license number and who knows what else, was stolen in January. They helpfully suggest I access my free credit report to check for any illicit activity. Apparently 1.3 million other doctors are involved and many who have billed Medicare who are not physicians (which the news reports omit).
Why did the VA wait so long? Why are they not taking more action to help protect my identity? Why did Veterans whose information was also compromised (199,000 of them) receive their letters in March and doctors only in late May? Why was the VA doing research on my billing practices, given that I do not work for the VA? What was the government thinking? Apparently it wasn't thinking much at all given that this is not the first, very large, data breach at the VA in the past year.
Last of all, for how long is my data at risk? The rest of my life? Too bad I can't change my identity to avoid it being misused this time.
Skip the government site. It is worthless.
For more, read this link.


Pepper said...

They are just now telling you this? That is crazy. The minute they realized the breach everyone should have been notified asap. This boggles this old girl's brain.

Rayne said...

Oh, no!
This really sucks!
Scott had his info lost to a VA leak a couple of years ago.
Fortunately, nothing bad came of it so far but we are still watching.
I hope nothing bad happens with your stuff, it's a major pain in the butt to repair from what I understand, not to mention how weird and freaky it must feel knowing someone is out there doing stuff as you.