California workers' compensation data exposed online

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Electronic files containing the personal information of hundreds of thousands of individuals who have applied for California workers' compensation benefits were mistakenly exposed online.

How many victims? 300,000,

What type of personal information? Names and Social Security numbers.

What happened? The electronic files, which belonged to Southern California Medical-Legal Consultants (SCMLC), a company that helps medical providers recover workers' compensation insurance funds, were discovered by a data security firm through automated Google searching. The information was stored on a computer that was intended for internal purposes.

What was the response? The company took “immediate steps to remediate the situation” and is taking other unspecified measures to ensure a similar incident does not recur. Affected individuals are being notified.

Quote: "We take data security and privacy very seriously," Joel Hecht, president of SCMLC, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, our internal security policies and procedures were not followed.”

Source: Marketwire news release, “Possible Data Breach Discovered and Contained,” June 12, 2011.
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