Oops! They did it again

Another California Department of Public Health privacy breach

The California Department of Public Health recently reported a security breach that may have exposed the personal data of 9,000 state employees, the second incident involving the CDPH and personal information in less than a year, according to the CDPH and media reports.

Officials began investigating the breach after California’s security-detection system showed evidence of unusual activity in early April. The three-month investigation revealed that an employee—who has been placed on administrative leave until the investigation closes—copied data from the state system onto an outside device.

The breach is representative of an unfortunate increase in privacy concerns in the medical field as technology becomes more and more immersed in day-to-day operations. The CDPH announced in December 2010 that the information of about 2,550 residents and employees of nursing facilities in Southern California was at risk after a CDPH office sent a tape containing the data through the U.S. Postal Service instead of a private carrier. That package never reached its destination.