The Department of Veterans Affairs had 10 lost or stolen laptop computers--all encrypted--during October 2010.

We know this because VA submits a monthly report to Congress on data incidents. In addition to the laptops, there were two missing/stolen PCs and four other incidents affecting information technology equipment. The VA lost 22 Blackberry devices in October, had 79 internal un-encrypted e-mail incidents and 79 mishandling incidents such as a veteran coming to a pharmacy window and being given another veteran's medication.

There were 10 mis-mailed medications to patients out of almost 5.8 million packages. And there were multiple pages missing from a pulmonary laboratory log book in Oklahoma, resulting in notification letters being sent to 1,950 veterans and a forthcoming new submission on the Department of Health and Human Services' public Web site of large breaches of protected health information.

All total for various data incidents in October, the VA has or will notify 2,574 veterans and 146 employees, and offer free credit protection services if appropriate. The VA's monthly reports to Congress are available at

--Joseph Goedert


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