A number of 10 backup discs containing information on Emory Healthcare customers have been found to be missing, most likely removed sometime in February 2012. As a result, 315,000 individuals are being notified by the company regarding the fact that they may become victims of identity theft.
While Emory representatives claim that there are no signs of misuse, the software used to read the data being taken out of service since 2007, if the discs were stolen, and the theft was targeted, we may soon witness a repetition of the TRICARE incident.
Moving on to the data breach itself, the figures show that around 228,000 of the records contained on the missing discs included Social Security numbers. Patient names, diagnoses, dates of surgery, procedure codes, device implant information, and other health-related details were on the discs.
Affected individuals will be provided with credit monitoring and identity protection services, but until everything is finalized, they’re recommended to keep a close eye on their financial assets. In case any fraudulent transactions are identified, the bank that’s in charge of the account must be immediately notified.
Hopefully, it wasn’t a targeted theft as it’s presumed to be in the case of TRICARE. However, in such cases, the affected people are advised to be on alert.
Here is the company’s official statement from John T. Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare:
We sincerely regret this incident and want to assure our patients that we are committed to safeguarding their personal information.
While we have no evidence at this time that any personal information has been misused as a result of this incident, we want to take all precautions to ensure our patients' information is safe. We are moving forward expeditiously with providing all affected patients, at our cost, access to identity protection services, including credit monitoring.