A security breach exposing the data of over 1,200 patients has recently been disclosed by the University of Miami. The Miller School of Medicine patient data was stolen back in November 2011, together with a flash drive, when someone broke into a pathologist’s car and took the briefcase where the portable device was stored.
The flash drive contained details such as age, sex, diagnosis and treatment information for patients treated from 2005 to 2011, the University of Miami disclosed in a press release. No financial information or Social Security numbers had been stored on the drive, according to the same press release.
Following federal law, UM is informing the patients involved, according to the press release, but “there is no indication that the information was accessed or misused in any way.”
The university promised to review and revise its physical and digital security policies to make sure patient data is safely stored and privacy is ensured. However, this is not the first incident they have had to deal with. Back in 2008, computer tapes with confidential information on 2.1 million patients was taken by a thief from a van transporting them. So when it comes to patient data kept in cars, the University of Miami has not changed anything in the past three years, but we can hope they will do better than empty promises next time.
Till the next data breach, we can surely hope so!