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Personal data stolen in Pr. William

The personal information of 669 Prince William County residents with intellectual disabilities was stored on a government-issued Blackberry that was stolen from a county employee's car last month, county officials said Friday.

But there has not yet been any indication that anyone's credit or medical records have been used, authorities said.

The theft occurred between June 18 and 19, Prince William spokesman Jason D. Grant said, from an employee's locked car in the driveway of their home. The Blackberry's hard drive had some case files and the full client list of the 669 Prince William residents enrolled in the Intellectual Disabilities Case Management Program.

That information included names, birthdates, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security and Medicaid numbers. When the theft was discovered, Grant said, Prince William began contacting all of the residents who might possibly be victimized, including their guardians or caregivers, to help them take steps to protect their credit and personal information

In the nearly four weeks since then, Grant said there have been no reports of any breaches of personal records. The employee did not break any confidentiality or HIPAA requirements by having the data, Grant said.

But county officials are looking into ways of encrypting the data to provide greater security, Grant noted.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman  |  July 16, 2010; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  Identity Theft , Pr. William , Tom Jackman  
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Comments

Here's an idea: instead of encrypting the data, how about making sure not to leave your company blackberry in the car?

Posted by: steampunk | July 16, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Even my kids know not to leave their cell phones, ipods, etc. in the car, let alone hard drives with personal/company data. Not even in our very own driveway. Pure negligence.

Posted by: kelvinator10 | July 16, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

This has happened before.
Why do they allow this information to leave the building? Does anyone need this much information outside of the office?

I really suspect that this information is being sold.

Posted by: Veritasamus | July 16, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Another Prince William County Information Technology (IT) screw-up?

Or crime?

Prince William County "discovered" about a year ago that $9-million in tax dollars had been pilfered by employees in its IT department.

Some of the "accused" are rumored to have fled the country, or are still "working" for the county in other jobs.

Nationwide, at the federal, state and local government levels, IT waste, fraud, and abuse of tax dollars is rampant, largely because few people outside of computer-nerd-dom have the ability to DETECT the crimes.

Posted by: kinkysr | July 16, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The person responsible should be fired.

Posted by: jeadpt | July 16, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

So, he didn't "break any confidentiality or HIPAA requirements by having the data" by having the data, but did the county break HIPAA requirements by putting the data in an unencrypted format on a government-owned device?

Posted by: mika_england | July 16, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

This should be an easy fix. Set it up so that you can remotely wipe the data upon theft. Make sure you have password protection on at all times. Ask Blackberry, they can easily help in getting blackberry's setup to be "wiped" in the case of theft.

Posted by: stinkyliberals | July 16, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

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