How Many Weeks Does It Take To Tell A Veteran His Identity Has Been Stolen?

You know, we cursorily mentioned the fact that the authorities investigating the theft of the laptop that resulted in the names, addresses and social security numbers of every living veteran being stolen waited three weeks to alert the public. But it took awhile for that to sink in.

The authorities’ concern, we admit, was understandable: the last thing they wanted to do was tip off the thief that the laptop he’d just purloined to exchange for a hunk of rock was, in fact, worth millions on the identity theft black market. They hoped to recover the laptop before the crook could figure it out. Or so they claim — we suspect there was some ass covering involved as well.

But when the lives and finances of 26 million Americans are at stake, you can’t just sit around, cross your fingers and hope everything comes out okay. Those people were vulnerable from the moment that laptop went home with some idiot employee, let alone the second it was stolen. It’s their lives: they deserved to be informed, so they could start protecting themselves. Because god knows the people they trusted to protect them couldn’t.

Now three weeks have gone by. If damage is going to be done to these people, it’s already been done. Way to go.

Investigators Kept VA Data Theft Secret for Three Weeks
Previously: Are Identity Thieves Targeting Idiot Employees?
Previously: Data on Millions of Veterans Stolen

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.