The hacking of the computer system at the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management compromised the records of millions of civilian employees along with information related to security clearances for members of the military and intelligence community.
There is now a report that the Most Transparent Administration in History took steps to lessen the negative PR impact of the hacking:
A decision reportedly made within the Obama administration allowed officials to delay revealing that a substantially higher number of people were affected by the OPM hack.
Officials familiar with the behind the scene discussions say OPM’s denials were based on a peculiar interpretation of what had happened at the agency. Officials at the White House and OPM agreed to handle the OPM problem as at least two separate breaches—one of the personnel files, and one of the security clearance forms, these officials said.
That had major implications for the initial description of damage. Rather than saying the hack implicated the private details of an estimated 18 million people—and potentially millions more if you count the relatives and close friends listed on the security clearance forms—the agency said about four million people were potentially affected.
It doesn’t exactly sound like the OPM or the administration has been in a rush to inform those affected by the hack: