Prince William County: Stolen Blackberry Contained Protected Health Information of 669 County Residents

Overnight, between June 18 and June 19, 2010, a Prince William County employee with the Intellectual Disabilities Case Management (IDCM) Program had a government-issued Blackberry stolen from the employee’s locked vehicle, which was parked in the driveway of the employee’s home. Saved onto the Blackberry’s hard drive along with some case files was the full client list of the 669 County residents enrolled in the program.

The personal information of those clients contained on the Blackberry includes:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security Number
  • Medicaid Number
[…] Prince William Community Services Department (CS) serves clients and their families throughout the County in numerous facilities and residences. To do this in the most effective and efficient way possible, the agency uses mobile devices and other technologies to serve its clients and assist its employees. However, in light of this current breach, CS is making every effort to mitigate current and potential harm to individuals.

Prince William County Police have been notified and are investigating the theft. The service provider was contacted and deactivated the phone to make certain calls cannot be made and certain features of the phone are rendered inoperable. CS notified all staff of the breach, and is making every effort to strengthen practices that will minimize the likelihood of client information being compromised in the future. To that end, CS has conducted an inventory of all mobile storage devices in use by case managers, and is investigating new encryption technologies and best practices to provide greater security of sensitive data entrusted to their employees.

CS is negotiating a contract with the three Credit Reporting Agencies to pay for a credit report covering the next 12 months at no cost to the clients. As soon as a contract is completed clients will be notified on how to use the service. However, clients should not wait to place a Fraud Alert with one of the companies listed above as this is a free service.

Notification has been sent to all affected individuals, and case managers are contacting each of their clients to help protect them from this breach of security. If you or someone you know is registered in the IDCM Program, and needs assistance, please contact the CS Office at: 703-792-7740.

Source: Prince William County web site

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