Share This Page

Slow learners

| Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Slow learners

On Sept. 27, I was at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, University Drive Division, to have blood drawn. It was early morning and perhaps a female VA employee did not have her cup of coffee yet when she asked a fellow veteran who was sitting no more than 2 feet from me for his complete Social Security number. Yep, that's right. I overheard the SSN in its entirety.

I might just want to refresh the VA's memory. Back in 2006, one of your employees had his laptop stolen with the names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth for about 26.6 million active-duty personnel and veterans. Medical privacy laws prevent unauthorized disclosure of any protected medical information, which includes SSNs.

Now, I know that sometimes, the U.S. government has a very slow learning curve, but I kind of hoped that after that fiasco, the VA might have learned a lesson or two.

Kathleen Janoski

Brookline

The writer is a retired Navy chief petty officer who served as a photographer for 23 years.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.