Iowa Human Services breach places 8,000 personal records at risk

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The personal information of former patients and employees at the Mental Health Institute in Independence, Iowa, as well as workers at other state facilities, may have been exposed after a backup computer tape went missing.

How many victims? Nearly 8,000.

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

What happened? A backup computer tape containing the former patient and employee personal information went missing from the organization on April 30, according to an alert by the Iowa Department of Human Services.

What was the response? Human Services officials sent letters to victims and offered one year of free credit monitoring.

Details: According to department officials, the tape did not contain bank or credit card information and they believe that it may have been inadvertently destroyed. Plus, specialized equipment would be needed to access the sensitive data.

Quote: “The chance that your information was improperly accessed is small, but we realize that you may want to take steps to be sure that your information is not used by another person,” Bhasker Dave, superintendent of the Mental Health Institute, said.

Source: www.wcfcourier.com, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, “Confidential records missing at MHI in Independence,” June 26, 2013.
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