"It is an understatement to say that BlueCross regrets this data breach."

The breach disclosure notification provided by BCBS of Tennessee to the Maryland Attorney’s General Office has just been made available online.   The detailed letter about the theft of 57 hard drives from a Chattanooga facility, dated December 16, 2009, provides additional insight into the mammoth chore BCBS faced trying to determine what data were on the drives in stored audio and video files and whom to notify when no electronic solution could be found.  The company retained Kroll OnTrack to assist in data recovery and investigation and reports that through the first week of December, between Kroll and BCBS, there were

500 full-time and 300 part-time workers reviewing both the audio and video files and performing data entry. The full-time employees worked on two different shifts six days a week. To date, all 300,000 video files have been reviewed and are being processed and deduplicated for member identification and notification, and approximately 550,000 audio files have been reviewed and are being processed. The third and final set of audio data is currently being reviewed by over 400 full-time Kroll staff….

BlueCross BlueShield’s General Counsel Bill Young notes in the detailed letter:

It is an understatement to say that BlueCross regrets this data breach.

No doubt.

A sample notification letter to affected individuals is also appended to the notification to Maryland.

Update: Robert McMillan followed up and gives us a bit more data:

As of Jan. 8, more than 110,000 work-hours had been spent reviewing the material.

The process has cost more than US$7 million so far, and it will be several months more before the notification effort is concluded, Vaughn said.

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