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Policyholder Data Lost in the Mail

DATA LOSS —U.S.

February 5, 2010

A Pittsburg healthcare provider is offering some 3,700 policyholders one free year of credit monitoring after documents containing their names and Social Security numbers (SSNs) were lost, the Pittsburg Post-Gazette reports. Highmark Inc. said a billing statement sent to policyholders at a department store arrived in a torn envelope and missing 171 pages. Highmark's chief privacy officer said the company is reviewing its mailing and data-transfer procedures, but in this case little could be done. "Maybe stronger envelopes," said Lisa Martinelli. Martinelli added that although Social Security numbers were part of the lost data, their digits were integrated with other account identifiers, and therefore not obviously SSNs.
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