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Just Because You're Paranoid

As a follow-up from my post of a month ago ("When Data Theft Hits Home"), it is worthwhile noting that the computer stolen from the Veterans Administration employee has been recovered, and there did not appear to be any questionable access to its data. My personal information (name, Social Security number, birth date) does not seem to have been compromised. I, and 26 million other veterans, collectively breathed a sigh of relief.

But the point of my previous post remains valid. Entities that hold our personal data are many, and few protect that data in a way that lets us sleep well at night. These entities claim that they are the victims when data is stolen, but that is not quite correct. We are the victims, and they are the intermediaries that enabled it to happen. We entrust our data to them, whether knowingly or not, and occasionally that trust is abused.

I am presumably safe this time. But I'm sure it won't be the last time my personal data is misappropriated.

Posted by Peter Varhol on 07/06/2006

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