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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2007
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VA’s missing hard drive may have data on 535,000

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs this week will begin notifying thousands of individuals whose sensitive information may be on a portable hard drive missing and possibly stolen from the Birmingham VA office.

An employee at the Birmingham VA Medical Center reported an external hard drive missing on Jan. 22. The hard drive was used to back up information on the employee’s office computer. It may have contained data from research projects the employee was working on.

An ongoing investigation by the VA and its Office of Inspector General has found that data files the employee was working with may have included sensitive VA-related information on approximately 535,000 individuals, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said in a statement Saturday.

The probe has also determined that information on approximately 1.3 million non-VA physicians — both living and deceased — could have been stored on the missing hard drive.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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