At least 7,000 South Carolina veterans are being warned that their personal data may have been compromised after a laptop was reported missing from a veterans hospital in Columbia two months ago, according to an announcement from the William Jennings Bryan Dorn Medical Center.
The release said the Veterans Administration is treating the event as an ongoing criminal investigation. It said the laptop was discovered missing from a locked testing lab on February 11. The computer was used in pulmonary function testing and contained information on patients’ names, ages, birthdates, and last four digits of their Social Security number.
VA officials said they do not believe the information has been misused, but they are alerting the affected patients because the laptop has not been recovered. Each of the veterans being notified received pulmonary function tests on the particular machines.
“Any time a Veteran’s personal information may be compromised, we take the matter very seriously,” the medical center’s director Rebecca Wiley said in the release. “We are reaching out to each veteran who may have been impacted.”
Each of the affected patients will be offered one year of free credit monitoring, she said.