Stolen Military Medical Records Include Personal Data

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The Washington Post reports theft of Social Security numbers, names, addresses, birth dates and lab test data from almost 5 million military beneficiaries with Tricare. Steve Vogel writes that Tricare informed beneficiaries  on its website and in a recent letter:

The letter that arrived Saturday at the home of Fred MacLean in Fayetteville, N.C., held alarming news: Computer backup tapes containing the retired Army chaplain’s personal information with the military’s Tricare health system had been stolen.

Over the next month, the letters will arrive at the 4.9 million Tricare military beneficiaries. It’s reportedly one of the largest health-data thefts ever made public. The data tapes were stolen in September from the car of a worker with Science Applications International Corp., a defense contractor for Tricare. The worker was transporting the back up data tapes to another federal facility.

Despite the data theft and the lack of encryption, SAIC and Tricare say the risk to beneficiaries is low. “The chance that your information could be obtained from these tapes is low since accessing, viewing and using the data requires specific hardware and software,” the SAIC letter states.

You can read the full Washington Post story HERE.

You can access the Tricare explanation of its data breach HERE.

SAIC has set up two call lines for Tricare beneficiaries with questions. The phones open Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm eastern time. Tricare members can get help signing up for credit monitoring and verify the authenticity of the letter:

  • United States, call toll-free: (855) 366-0140
  • International, call collect at (952) 556-8312

2 Responses

  1. Great post! Been reading about different cases of stolen medical records like this. What a crazy situation. Thanks for the info!

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