Health Net, a California-based insurance company that covers 6 million people nationwide, announced that it is missing data servers containing private health records, financial information, and Social Security numbers for nearly 2 million people, according to news reports.
The company said the information is stored on several hard drives from data centers, and that the physical drives containing the sensitive private information is missing.
A spokeswoman for the California Department of Managed Health Care told ABC News that “something went wrong."
The company would not say whether the drives were stolen.
In the wrong hands, the sensitive information could be used to accomplish identity theft, such as fraudulently opening security cards, bank accounts, or obtaining public benefits. According to Javelin Strategy and Research, more than 11 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2009, with a total fraud estimated to be at $54 billion. (See here).
Many of the people affected by this breach also had their private information exposed to identity theft by Health Net in a prior breach. On May 14 2009 experts hired by Health Net concluded that an unencrypted disc drive was likely stolen from Health Net Connecticut offices and it contained private information 1.5 million people.
Sheller PC is currently pursuing a class action lawsuit for the May 2009 breach. If you have been affected by this new breach please contact us at (800) 883-2299.