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Laptop stolen from Gig Harbor contained privileged information on 652 DSHS clients

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on March 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm with No Comments »
March 29, 2013 2:20 pm

A laptop containing confidential information on 652 state Department of Social and Health Services clients was stolen from Gig Harbor and later recovered at a pawn shop, the department announced today.

Officials said the thieves do not appear to have broken the security measures and accessed the files, which includes health information. The affected clients were all receiving services from the department’s Economic Services Administration and have been notified via letter.

“We are unable to determine whether the data was accessed or further copied or disclosed. While there is no information to show that the stolen data has been accessed or used for identity theft, I am erring on the side of caution and notifying every person who might be affected,” Dr. Sunil Kakar wrote in letters to the 652 clients. “I am extremely sorry for this situation and understand it may cause concern, embarrassment and inconvenience. I try very hard to earn your trust, and that includes protecting sensitive information about you. I take client confidentiality very seriously.”

Kakar is a private contractor for the agency. It was stolen Feb. 4 and recovered 10 days later at a local pawn shop.

Client information on the laptop included names; identification numbers; psychological evaluations, including notes and reports with diagnoses; dates of birth, the last four digits of Social Security numbers; dates of services; and addresses.

Any DSHS clients who have questions should contact the Community Services Division Customer Relations Unit at 800-865-7801.

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