Email asking how health care nonprofit handles personal data contained personal data

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A document inadvertently attached to a Hope Community Resources (HCR) email survey contained the personal information for thousands of people.

Ironically, the survey asked clients, among other questions, how they believed the Alaska nonprofit handles their sensitive health care information.

How many victims? All 3,700 disabled HCR clients, several of them minors.

What type of personal information? Names, addresses, and dates of birth.

What happened? The file was attached to an email survey that was sent out to collect information that the facility planned to use toward obtaining a health accreditation.   

What was the response? HCR was alerted of the incident Aug. 19, when the email was sent, and immediately took action. It attempted to recall any emails prior to delivery and asked those who opened the email to delete it. HCR is notifying everyone who has been affected.

Quote: “We plan to notify everyone involved and will be sending out an apology letter to everyone who had their personal information disclosed in the attachment,” said Tonya Rambow, HCR chief of staff.

Source: alaskadispatch.com, Alaska Dispatch, “Email accident violates privacy of thousands of Hope Community clients,” Aug. 20, 2013.

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