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Laptop Theft at UCSF Compromises Personal Health Information for 3,500 Patients

October 15, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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An unencrypted personal laptop computer containing the personal health information of 3,541 patients was stolen from a car of a University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center employee last month.

Upon discovering the theft on Sept. 10, the employee promptly alerted San Francisco police, UCSF police and UCSF officials. UCSF then began a technical analysis to determine what information was on the laptop. The analysis revealed that the laptop housed files containing personal and health information for some UCSF patients, including their name and medical record number. Social Security numbers were also involved for a small number of individuals.

Also stolen were paper documents for 31 patients, some of whose information was also on the laptop. Information in the paper documents included patient names, date of birth, medical record number and some health information.

UCSF officials have said there is no evidence at this time that there has been any attempted access or attempted use of the information involved.

Affected individuals are being alerted, and a special phone line has been set up by UCSF to provide additional assistance to those individuals.

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