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Call Center Worker Called Source Of Health Data Breach

By Brian Dowling, Hartford Courant

HARTFORD — Officials at Access Health CT said Sunday that the owner of a backpack containing personal information of about 400 people with insurance through the health exchange has come forward.

According to a press release from Access Health spokeswoman Kathleen Tallarita, the employee came forward on his own after hearing of the discovery on TV. The employee is from Maximus, the organization’s call center vendor. The individual, who was not identified, has been placed on administrative leave and has had all system access privileges revoked, according to the press release.

“While we are still working to understand exactly why this person took the information out of the building, based on what we have learned so far it does not appear there was malfeasance on the part of this person,” the press release said.

Access Health CT senior management and senior Maximus representatives plan to meet Monday morning in Hartford to continue the investigation and “determine any actions necessary to ensure this does not occur again,” according to the release.

The backpack found on Trumbull Street Friday contained four notepads with personal information for about 400 people. The information included names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of customers of the state’s health insurance exchange. On Sunday, officials said fewer than 200 Social Security numbers were contained on the pads.

Access Health CT officials said Sunday that notes similar to those found in the backpack are sometimes made by call center representatives to assist clients as they navigate through the enrollment system but that it is “expressly prohibited” for the information to leave the call center.

Access Health CT chief operating officerPeter Van Loon said people whose information was compromised are being notified.

“Access Health CT has begun calling individuals whose names were handwritten on the work papers to inform them of this potential breach,” he said. “Consumers will be offered the following remedies … at no cost: credit monitoring, fraud resolution, identity theft insurance, and security freezes of credit reports.”

 

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