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Department Prints SSNs on Envelopes

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—U.S.

February 9, 2010

State health department officials are advising nearly 50,000 Californians how to protect themselves from identity theft, after employees inadvertently listed Social Security numbers alongside names and addresses in a February mailing, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. California's Department of Health Care Services says there is no indication that "unauthorized parties have acquired or accessed" the personal information. "We have implemented additional safeguards governing the release of Social Security numbers," a spokesman said. "...We will redouble our efforts to ensure that all beneficiary information entrusted to the state is aggressively and appropriately protected." Those affected are being advised to contact credit-reporting agencies and place fraud alerts on their files.
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