“Without Undue Delay,” Saturday edition: D.C.’s Planned Parenthood reports data was breached last fall

Brittany Renee Mayes reports:

Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., on Friday revealed it had a breach of patient information last fall.

In a notice posted to its website, the organization revealed that it found “unusual” activity on its networks on Sept. 3. At that time, it began securing its systems, started an investigation and notified law enforcement.

Read more on The Washington Post.

Note that this incident was reported to HHS on November 20, 2020 as a hacking/IT incident involving its network server, and it  was included in Protenus’s Breach Barometer figures for that month. PPMW reported that 500 patients were impacted, which suggested to this blogger that PPMW knew they likely had more than 500 impacted and just wanted to make sure that they reported the incident to HHS within the required timeframe for notification.

But apparently they did not notify patients within the 60 day window from discovery of access and exfiltration. The notification on their web site offers no explanation as to why notification was not made in November to patients instead of five months later. And while they emphasize that they have no evidence of misuse of the data, let’s be clear that their investigation found that data had been accessed and copies of documents were acquired. Those documents were described as containing patient information such as:

names, addresses, dates cof birth, medical record numbers, and/or clinical information, such as provider name(s), date(s) of service, diagnosis information, treatment information, and/or prescription information. In some instances, patients’ health insurance information, financial account information, and/or Social Security numbers were also included.

According to HHS’s breach tool, the incident is still open or under investigation.

About the author: Dissent

Comments are closed.