Washington, D.C. – Federal employees affected by the 2015 data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management would receive lifetime identity theft protection and credit monitoring under legislation introduced in the House and endorsed by the National Treasury Employees Union.
The RECOVER Act from Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) would give thousands of former, current and future federal employees extra protection against identity theft stemming from the data breaches that compromised employee information, including Social Security numbers.
“NTEU is grateful for the efforts of Rep. Holmes Norton and Rep. Ruppersberger to give federal employees all over the country the reassurance that any fraudulent attempts to use their personal information will be flagged and stopped before any more damage is done,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “The fear of identity theft will not subside, and neither should the government’s commitment to keeping them safe.”
Currently the protection only lasts through 2026, and lifetime protection for NTEU members is one of the things the union is pursuing in its lawsuit against the government.
NTEU’s lawsuit alleges that OPM violated NTEU members’ constitutional right to informational privacy. OPM recklessly disregarded nearly a decade of warnings from its own Inspector General about serious security vulnerabilities in its information systems. Those vulnerabilities paved the way for the theft of tens of thousands of NTEU members’ personal information from OPM’s databases.
A federal judge dismissed the case last year and NTEU’s appeal of that decision is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 32 federal agencies and departments.