Back in July 2010, a Boston Globe photographer noticed documents containing the details of 67,000 individuals at a public dump. The ones responsible for improperly disposing of the records have agreed to pay $140,000 (105,000 EUR) to settle the allegations.
The defendants – former owners of a medical billing practice and four pathology groups – have been accused of violating state data security laws when they improperly disposed of medical records containing names, social security numbers, medical diagnoses and other information.
The $140,000 (105,000 EUR) includes civil penalties, attorney fees, and a data protection fund that supports efforts to improve the security and privacy of sensitive financial and health information in the state of Massachusetts.
“Personal health information must be safeguarded as it passes from patients to doctors to medical billers and other third-party contractors,” Attorney General Coakley said.
“We believe this data breach put thousands of patients at risk, and it is the obligation of all parties involved to ensure that sensitive information is disposed of properly to prevent this from happening again.”