Breach, Data Security

Sensitive laptops stolen from Fla. health insurance provider

The theft of two company laptops from Florida- based health insurance provider, AvMed Health Plans, may have exposed the personal information of current and former subscribers and their dependents.

How many victims? 200,000.

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

What happened? The laptops were stolen from a locked conference room at AvMed's corporate offices in Gainesville, Fla. The theft was discovered Dec. 11.

Details: Data on one of the laptops may not have been encrypted properly. Potentially at risk are 80,000 current and 128,000 former subscribers dating back to April 2003, as well as their dependents.

A company security employee said the only people with keys to the conference room were security staff and cleaning crew.

Quote: "We don't want to jump to any conclusions," said AvMed spokeswoman Cochita Ruiz-Topinka when asked if the laptops were stolen by a company insider.

What was the response? Attempts to locate the laptops have been unsuccessful, and an investigation remains open. Breach victims will receive identity protection services.

Source:, The Gainesville Sun, “AvMed: Data of 208,000 at risk after Gainesville theft,” Feb. 8, 2010.

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