A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) laptop containing the sensitive data of several thousand patients was stolen in South Carolina.
How many victims? 7,405.
What type of personal information? Names, birth dates and partial Social Security numbers.
What happened? The VA sent notification letters to affected patients last week, after discovering the laptop was stolen in February. The theft occurred at the respiratory therapy department of the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, S.C.
What was the response? The VA is offering one year of free credit monitoring to affected patients and has directed individuals with questions to call Lisa Boxton, the Dorn VA privacy officer.
Details: Law enforcement has begun a criminal investigation, though VA officials believe no patient information has been misused. Since the incident, the hospital has secured all laptops that are connected to medical devices.
Quote: “Any time a veteran’s personal information may be compromised, we take the matter very seriously,” said Rebecca Wiley, the medical center director. “We are reaching out to each veteran who may have been impacted.”
Source: www.wistv.com, WIS News 10, “Dorn VA warns patients of possible security breach,” April 5, 2013.