UCSF information leaked by data company

Share this article:

The University of California, San Francisco Medical Center notified patients last month of a data breach that affected more than 6,000 visitors to the pulmonary/chest faculty practice, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery and neurology departments.

The breach, which was discovered on October 9, 2007, made information on 6,313 UCSF patients available over the Internet. Endangered information included the names and addresses of patients, names of the departments where they received care and, in some cases, medical record numbers and physician names.

Patients received letters from the hospital in April, warning that their information had been endangered. A hotline number was provided for anyone seeking more information, and the letter was also posted on the hospital's Web site. So far, no one has reported any problems.

Data mining company Target America Inc. has been implicated in the breach because it had been tapped by the nonprofit UCSF to mine patient data for information on possible or existing donors. UCSF has shared information on more than 30,000 patients with the company since 2004. Ten days after the leak was discovered, UCSF ended its relationship with Target America. Target America could not be reached for comment.

The data company was required by UCSF to hire a third party firm to investigate the breach once it was discovered. The hospital waited for the results from that investigation before contacting patients. The audit showed that patient information had been available from July 1 to October 9, 2007, but only if a specific patient name were searched.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Data/Analytics

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

Featured Listings

More in Data/Analytics

Acxiom East?

Acxiom East?

Ogilvy & Mather launches OgilvyAmp, a think tank for data-driven marketers headed by expatriates from Little Rock's best-known data company.

Epicor to Acquire Analytics Provider QuantiSense

Epicor to Acquire Analytics Provider QuantiSense

Retail solutions provider seeks to up its data analytics game for large and midsized retailers.

One Third of Companies Fail to Measure Data Quality ROI

One Third of Companies Fail to Measure Data ...

Twenty percent of companies assume their data quality tools pay off, while another 10% doesn't monitor ROI at all.