Personal information stolen from Detroit’s health department
Christine MacDonald reports on two breaches in the Detroit area:
Police are investigating two incidents in which patients’ medical records — including social security numbers — were stolen from the city’s health department.
The first theft occurred in late October when a flash drive was stolen from a health department employee’s car. It contained files with birth certificate information for babies born in 2008 and the first half of 2009 whose parents reside in the 48202 and 48205 zip codes. Also a part of the files were information on the mothers’ names and health conditions, the fathers’ names, addresses, Medicaid numbers and social security numbers.
The second incident happened over the Thanksgiving break when five computers were stolen from the immunization program at the department’s Herman Kiefer Health Complex. One of the computers contained Medicare and Medicaid seasonal flu billing information for 2008.
Nearly 5,000 letters are being sent to some of the individuals whose information was stolen, informing them of the breach and the risk they now face of identity theft. City officials say they are trying to get updated address information on others who have been affected.
Read more in The Detroit News.
Update 1 12-16-09: The AP is reporting that the breaches affected 10,000.