April 09, 2012

The theft of a laptop containing more than 34,000 unencrypted records from Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and the loss of backup tapes containing records of 800,000 people enrolled in California Department of Child Support Services programs are just the latest in a string of healthcare data breaches that could have and should have been prevented, a data protection expert contends.

Last week, Howard University Hospital disclosed that it had notified 34,503 patients that a personal laptop of a former contractor was stolen in January from that individual's car. The laptop, according to the hospital, was password-protected, but the actual data was not encrypted.



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