Washington, D.C. - Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) this morning applauded the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for taking steps he had advocated to increase its efforts to monitor the impact of a loss of VA data from the theft of computer equipment from an employee's home last month and to provide a sense of security to the 26.5 million individuals potentially affected by that theft.
?From the moment we learned of the data theft, I asked what VA was doing to understand what had happened and to put people's minds at ease,? stated Senator Akaka. ?I continued to urge action and I am glad that VA has now taken action to both more aggressively monitor whether any of the lost data is being misused and to provide identity protection for the 26.5 million veterans, active duty military members, National Guard and Reserve members.?
According to VA, it will hire a data analysis risk firm and buy credit monitoring for all of those affected by last month's data theft.
Senator Akaka said, ?Although this is great news, much more must be done to prevent data theft and loss and to deal with the consequences of any such breach. Congress has a responsibility to pass legislation to deter future personal information data losses throughout government.?
Last week Senator Akaka introduced S. 3506, the Data Theft Prevention Act of 2006. The bill is designed to serve as a deterrent of future breaches of personal information from Federal databases. The measure has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Senator Akaka is Ranking Member on the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.