Last week, news broke that the head of the Office of Personnel Management had resigned in the wake of a massive data breach. 

Who cares, right? Doesn't affect you?


The breach directly impacts the personal information of some 22 million Americanswho have applied for security clearances with the government - we're talking everyone from young troops overseas in Afghanistan to the head of the Department of Defense. And that includes me.  

As someone who has personally undergone the rigorous clearance process, I can tell you that the information these documents hold goes far beyond my Social Security number or the threat of credit card fraud. The government demands extensive information from potential employees - information that is deeply personal, ranging from individual medical history to the whereabouts and livelihoods of distant cousins.

The release of this information into the wrong hands compromises the safety and integrity of our leaders, neighbors and friends. And it threatens Americans who are working in foreign countries, under their real names, or undercover as secret operatives. 

So while this may seem like "just another" breach, I predict that we'll see profound and severe fallout. Stay tuned over the coming months, because I sure hope I'm wrong.  

Security Mom is a podcast hosted by Juliette Kayyem that aims to unpack how the strange and secretive world of national security works. Subscribe to the Security Mom podcast in  iTunes.