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Lost Memory Stick Contained PHI

DATA LOSS

April 22, 2011

An unencrypted memory stick containing the records of 4,500 children has gone missing from a speech and hearing clinic at the University of Western Ontario, according to the London Free Press. The missing records include names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, doctor information and school and childcare information. Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian said, "If you are a healthcare facility of any kind, you never transfer identifiable data onto a portable device such as a USB or a laptop." Prof. Richard H. Irving, who specializes in health systems management, warns of the growing risk as information-holding devices become smaller, saying, "Once you put information on a little key...it's easier to lose it and it's easier to steal it."
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