Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN data breached

Jan. 20, 2010

From Knoxville News:

CHATTANOOGA – Customers of Chattanooga-based insurer BlueCross
BlueShield of Tennessee slowly are being notified by mail of a potential
breach of their personal information.

This week, BCBS will provide updated data to the public on exactly how
many customers were exposed when 57 hard drives were pilfered in October
from a storage closet at the insurer’s Eastgate Town Center branch, said
company spokeswoman Mary Thompson.

“We’ve reached a critical mass with our analysis of the information, and
this week we think we can update the public,” Thompson said. “We’re
going to be doing a really full breakdown of how many were potentially
exposed.”

Letters are being mailed in batches as the data is being combed over and
the breaches are discovered, Thompson said.

So far, there is no evidence the data has been successfully accessed or
used to harm any customer’s credit, Thompson said. But the insurer, in
the letters, is offering customers free credit monitoring for one year.

The hard drive data is encoded and scrambled in such a fashion, Thompson
said, that it would be difficult for whoever stole the hard drives to
access it. However, the hard drives may include names, insurance ID
numbers, dates of birth, Social Security and information about the
customer’s medical conditions.

In the letter, the company alerted clients via Priority Mail that some
members’ personal information is contained in the hard drives. Company
or group administrators received letters from Tena Roberson, the deputy
general counsel and chief privacy officer for BlueCross.

“The call recordings may have included the member’s name and ID number,”
Roberson wrote. “Additionally, some recordings may have included the
member’s date of birth or Social Security number.”

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