By Scott Hensley
Here we go again. Another stolen laptop, and a whole bunch more personal data that could be used for no-good.
A computer belonging to an employee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association got filched from a vandalized car in August, the Chicago Tribune reports. On the laptop: personal info on hundreds of thousands of doctors and their practices, including, in some cases, such details as Social Security numbers and ID numbers used by insurers to pay docs.
Nearly all practicing docs in the country, or about 800,000, have been warned about the breach.
A spokesman for the insurance group told the Tribune the info shouldn't have been transferred to the employee's personal computer and wouldn't say what happened to the worker.
So far, there haven't been any reports of identity theft or fraud as a result of the theft. Still, the association is offering credit monitoring services to people whose Social Security numbers were exposed.
Unfortunately, this is just the latest instance of a wayward PC potentially compromising confidential data. A laptop stolen from the trunk of an National Institutes of Health scientist's car last year carried confidential information on 2,500 patients in a clinical study. And earlier this year, another laptop theft put at risk confidential information for than 14,000 patients of Moses Cone Health System in North Carolina.