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article imageLaptop stolen from hospital contained information on 600 patients

By Lynn Curwin     Sep 2, 2010 in Crime
Burnaby - A laptop stolen from a hospital in British Columbia contained personal information on more than 600 patients. It held data such as names, birth dates and health card numbers.
The information was not encrypted or protected by a password, although hospital policy states this should be done.
"We did raise the concern that the information could be used for potential identity theft, so we did advise them of some of the steps they can do to see if that is occurring," CBC News quoted David Plug, a spokesman for the Fraser Health Authority, as saying.
He said officials have contacted everyone affected and those people have been offered a year’s subscription to a credit monitoring service. He also stated that hospital is ensuring that this type of thing will not happen again.
"We've been saying for years now that portable storage devices, including laptops or flash drives — those kinds of devices, that contain personal information — that information about identifiable individuals must be encrypted," CBC News quoted Pat Egan, acting manager of investigations at the Office of the B.C. Privacy Commissioner, as saying.
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