U.S. Military Veterans - 2009

The issue involves a defective hard drive the agency sent back to its vendor for repair and recycling without first destroying the data. The hard drive helped power eVetRecs, the system veterans use to request copies of their health records and discharge papers. When the drive failed last year, the agency returned the drive to GMRI, the contractor that sold it to them, for repair. GMRI determined it couldn't be fixed, and ultimately passed it to another firm to be recycled. The drive was part of a RAID array of six drives containing an Oracle database that held detailed records on 76 million veterans, including millions of Social Security numbers dating to 1972, when the military began using individuals' Social Security numbers as their service numbers.