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NTEU defends OPM cyber breach lawsuit

The National Treasury Employees Union asked a federal court to reject a motion to dismiss its lawsuit seeking relief from the Office of Personnel Management for the cyber breach that exposed federal employees’ personal information.

The National Treasury Employees Union asked a federal court to reject a motion to dismiss its lawsuit seeking relief from the Office of Personnel Management for the cyber breach that exposed federal employees’ personal information.

The personal information of more than 20 million individuals—including employees represented by the union—was stolen from OPM’s information systems in cyberattacks revealed last year.

NTEU presented oral argument Oct. 27 before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, maintaining that its members have a constitutional right to informational privacy—a right NTEU said was violated when OPM failed to adequately protect its members’ personal information. NTEU disputed OPM’s contention that the union and its members had no legal standing to lodge the case.

NTEU maintained in court documents that the constitutional right to informational privacy “protects inherently personal information provided to the government on the promise of confidentiality, and it provides a basis for a claim where … the government disregards that promise.”

Among other things, NTEU is seeking lifetime credit monitoring and identity theft protection to any NTEU member affected by the cyberattacks, and is asking the court to order OPM to take corrective measures to improve its information technology security.

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