Lost Thumb Drive Causes Data Breach

St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, Del., has notified 474 former maternity patients who had participated in a prenatal and maternity care program a decade ago that a lost thumb drive contained their names and some medical information.

The information was in two files of the thumb drive that were not password protected, and the drive was not encrypted. The News Journal in Wilmington reports a physician lost the drive during the spring and didn't realize it was missing until an unknown sender mailed it to the physician's home.

The drive did not contain such information as Social Security numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, billing or insurance information, or babies' names.

St. Francis in a statement says it's reviewing its policies regarding thumb drives, reeducating staff members and considering use of software that automatically encrypts files transferred from hospital computers to a thumb drive.


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