As you may know, Veterans Advantage is a longtime advocate of privacy protection for those of us who have served. We continue to hear of our increased risk as a group when compared to the general population. Military and Veterans are known to have twice the reported rate of ID theft than their non-veteran counterparts. This is an issue that needs more legislators and veterans service organizations to focus on and enhance military identity protections.
In this week's breaking news, we are glad to see some movement on this front, as Vietnam Veterans of America has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense. The suit charges the government agency with failure to protect its critical military database and adhere to provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974.
According to the VVA complaint, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act or "SCRA" website, managed by the DoD, exposes sensitive private details about the military service of millions of veterans. By failing to impose access permissions, the DoD site is open to anyone to use for any purpose, which violates military and veterans’ rights under the Privacy Act. We become more vulnerable to identity theft as commercial entities can access and sell this data for profit and scammers can use the data to perpetrate identity theft, impostor scams, and other frauds.
We'll keep you posted as the litigation continues.