South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth, Mass., is defending its decision to not personally notify by postal mail about 800,000 patients affected by a data breach caused when computer tapes sent for destruction were lost.

The hospital reported the breach in July and said it would send letters in four to six weeks following an investigation. Based on that investigation, the hospital announced in recent days it will not notify by mail, but via its Web site, full-page newspaper ads across the state and e-mail if the address is known (see story).

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