Vet says Veteran's Administration explanation of website privacy breach doesn't add up

Man not convinced by email telling him his data wasn't exposed.
January 24, 2014 3:28:49 PM PST
Navy veteran Sylvester Woodland said Friday that he's not convinced by an email he got from the Department of Veterans Affairs telling him his information was not compromised in a privacy breach on the agency's website.

The ABC11 first started digging on this story last week when Woodland reported he was seeing the private information of other vets when he logged into the Veteran Affairs' E-Benefits website.

The VA told us that a glitch occurred while software was being updated, and some logged into the system were able to see a combination of their own information as well as data from other users.

The VA said it happened over a limited timeframe and it took immediate action to shut the system down.

Woodland said Friday he got a notification from the VA saying his information wasn't compromised, but he told us he thinks it was, and believes he has proof.

Woodland said a check of his account activity shows he was online last Friday early in the morning at 5 a.m. - when he was actually asleep. According to the VA, the website should have been down at that time.

"I don't want answers that are like, 'Go away, little boy, we'll deal with it.' I want answers that speak to the issues that I'm concerned about," said Woodland.

Woodland said he's worried about somebody not just getting my information but other veteran's information.

"I want to know that this issue is being taken care of and we're not just being appeased by giving erroneous information," he offered.

ABC11 talked to House Committee on Veteran Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller on Wednesday about the privacy breach. One of the main advocates for veterans in Washington D.C., he said he plans to hold hearings on the privacy breach in the next few weeks.

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