Unencrypted laptop stolen, 11,000 dialysis patients impacted

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More than 11,000 patients and some employees of Colorado-based kidney care company DaVita are being alerted after an unencrypted laptop containing their personal data was stolen from a staffer's vehicle.

How many victims? Approximately 11,500.

What type of personal information? Names, clinical diagnoses, insurance carrier names, claims payment data and dialysis treatment information. About 375 patients had their Social Security numbers stored on the laptop.

What happened? A thief stole an unencrypted laptop from an employee's vehicle.

What was the response? The theft was reported to law enforcement. Letters are being mailed to affected individuals and those who are patients will be offered one free year of credit protection services, including identity recovery assistance and identity theft insurance.

Details: DaVita was notified of the theft on Sept. 6. The laptop is was password-protected, but the mandated encryption on the device was discovered to have been unintentionally deactivated. DaVita has no evidence that the data was accessed or used.

Quote: “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause our patients,” Skip Thurman, a DaVita spokesperson, said. “DaVita has reviewed its encryption practices and implemented additional safeguards to protect against any future instances of non-compliance with our encryption policies and procedures.”

Source: davita.com, “DaVita Issues Notification of Data Breach,” Nov. 5, 2013;

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