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University Alerts Surgical Patients of Breach

DATA LOSS

August 6, 2010

The University Health Network (UHN) sent letters last week to 763 surgical patients informing them that their medical information had been compromised, CBC reports. Some of the files had been stored on a stolen unencrypted USB stick. The information included names, admission and discharge dates and surgical procedures. Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian discovered the breach through a news report and "hit the roof," she said, noting her warning to health authorities months earlier to ensure health records are encrypted. UHN says it is working to make changes to ensure a similar event does not occur and that not alerting Cavoukian was a mistake. "There was a decision made that this wasn't a significant enough breach to warrant informing the commissioner, and I've apologized to the commissioner for that," UHN's CEO said.
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