Laptop Thief Nabs Hospital Patient Data
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Stolen or lost laptops are becoming one of the most prevalent vectors for data loss. eSecurity Planet looks at the latest case of how sensitive data residing on a notebook PC has gone missing -- potentially affecting thousands.
Officials at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee this week said they are in the process of notifying more than 6,400 patients that their names, Social Security numbers, and other personal information may have been exposed after a laptop computer was stolen.
A St. Luke's spokesman said the laptop was snagged from a locked office in a "secure physician office" located adjacent to the hospital. Patients' names, Social Security numbers, date of birth, diagnosis codes, and medical record numbers--not the actual medical records themselves--were housed on the purloined laptop.
"There is absolutely no danger that Aurora medical records of these patients would be or could be in jeopardy through this theft," the spokesman said in a statement.
Aurora St. Luke's and Cogent Healthcare are just the latest health care providers to be victimized by a stolen or missing laptop.