Rep. Barton Seeks Probe In Theft of Computer

Ellen Nakashima and Rick Weiss write in The Washington Post:

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), the ranking minority member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, revealed yesterday that he is among the approximately 3,000 heart patients whose medical information was potentially exposed to public scrutiny when an unencrypted government laptop was stolen in February from the car of a National Institutes of Health researcher.

In a letter to be released today, Barton asks Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general to investigate the Feb. 23 theft and the agency’s handling of the affair, noting that, “in the interest of full disclosure,” he is personally affected.

Among the questions raised in the letter is whether the NIH has an adequate system for contacting patients affected by such events. Barton and others were not notified of the breach until last week because of agency record-keeping problems. At least one patient said he found out only after contacting the NIH.

Full story – Washington Post

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