The Divisions of Professional Licensure and Health Professions Licensure sent out information, routinely asked for under the state’s public records law, to marketing firms and other businesses containing the personal data, including Social Security numbers, of 450,000 licensed professionals.
What was the response? Officials contacted all recipients, and all but two disks have been returned.
The state has also obtained signed affidavits from many of the recipients.
Officials believe the two remaining disks are still in the mail.
The Division of Professional Licensure notified both the secretary of state and the office of the attorney general about the breach, and has begun notifying all affected individuals.
The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development said it will review the process and put into effect new rules for the distribution of sensitive information.
Details: The state began using new software on Sept. 11, which failed to delete the Social Security numbers from such notices.
Affected individuals include engineers, nursing home administrators, certified public accountants and other professionals.
Quote: “We take any situation where an individual’s personal information may have been compromised extremely seriously, said Daniel Crane, director of the state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. “We are taking steps that will insure that such an incident can not occur again.”
For help: Individuals who feel they may have been affected can contact the Division of Professional Licensure.
Source: Boston.com (The Boston Globe), Oct. 3, “Mass. accidentally sends out disks with personal information”