What happened? The human resources department of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va., distributed mail to as many as 700 employees with Social Security numbers visible when viewing the envelopes.
What types of personal information were exposed? The Social Security numbers and personnel actions of an unknown number of employees.
Details: The hospital mailed out hundreds of “SF 50” forms, which are used by the federal government to notify employees of personnel actions, in unaddressed window envelopers.
Such information is usually distributed in normal white envelopes with a disclaimer that only the addressee is to open the message.
An unknown number of the envelopes were accidentally mailed via the U.S. Postal Service, but returned for having an insufficient address.
Quote: “You would think that they’d be a little more careful after what happened to all the veterans and their Social Security numbers,” said Susan Anderson, vice president of the National Association of Government Employees and president of its local chapter.
Source: The Journal (Martinsburg, W. Va.), Sept. 6, “Data breach hits VA center”