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VA Worker Took Data Home For Years Before Break-in

The Veterans Affairs analyst who lost 26.5 million veterans' identities when his home was burglarized had been taking data home since 2003, the department's inspector general said in testimony before Congress Thursday.

The agency admitted it didn't even know if that practice had been approved by the man's superiors.

VA Inspector General George Opfer told a joint hearing of the Senate's Committee on Veterans' Affairs and its Committee on Homeland Security that the unnamed data analyst had apparently taken confidential data home for years.

"The employee, a data analyst, was authorized access to sensitive VA information in the performance of his duties and responsibilities. He said that he routinely took such data home to work on it, and had been doing so since 2003," Opfer said during the Thursday hearing.

"The employee told us he took the data home for work-related purposes," Opfer continued, talking of the ongoing investigation his office is conducting. "However, none of his supervisors we talked to said they were aware that the employee had taken the file containing approximately 26.5 million veterans’ records to his residence."

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