Breach, Data Security

Laptop stolen from Calif. health care provider exposing data of 1,500

An unencrypted laptop was stolen from SynerMed, a Monterey Park, Calif.-based practice serving patients using a public health service called the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP).

How many victims? 1,566.

What type of personal information? Names, IEHP member ID numbers, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers and other health-related information.

What happened? On April 14, the machine was stolen from the car of a SynerMed employee. SynerMed is a practice that provides health care for members of IEHP, a public health plan serving individuals in the San Bernardino and Riverside counties of California. On Thursday, IEHP posted details about the incident on its site.

What was the response? The incident was reported to IEHP on May 7, and following an investigation, plan members were notified by letter in early June. SynerMed will now encrypt all devices that connect to its network.

Details: No Social Security numbers were on the stolen laptop.

Quote: "There are a variety of ways to protect data," said Bradley Gilbert, CEO at IEHP. "This [laptop] was just password protected, which is not adequate."

Source:, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, “IEHP reveals theft of laptop with members' records,” June 13, 2013.

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