The U.S. Government has experienced some of the biggest and most expensive content management snafus. Add another big one to the list. According to news reports, an analyst from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) violated the organization’s policy when he took home a laptop, a computer disk, and an external storage device, which was later stolen in a household burglary. The stolen equipment and storage devices contained the personal information of 26.5 million military vets—just enough data to support identity theft—information including names, birth dates, social security numbers of all living veterans discharged since 1976.
While there is no reason to believe that the thieves knew of—nor that they were seeking—the personal records and information contained on the devices, that may not be of much comfort to the veteran’s impacted by the theft. The VA says they are treating the theft seriously. The agency intends to send out notification letters to all veterans, provide information about the issue on its website, and provide a toll-free hotline for veterans to report suspicious activity.
What is the exact cost of this content management snafu? Just the cost of sending out notification letters to 26.5 million veteran’s could approach 100 million when one adds in labor, production, and delivery costs for an unplanned mailing of this magnitude. Calls to the toll-free hotline are sure to add increased costs to this major content management blunder.