• October 19, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

FDNY: EMS patient data possibly compromised

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Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 8:32 pm

The FDNY is in the process of notifying more than 10,000 patients who have been treated or transported by department EMS personnel that their personal information — including Social Security numbers in an estimated 3,000 cases — may have been potentially compromised when an employee’s external hard drive went missing.

The employee’s hard drive device, which was not encrypted, was reported missing from an unspecified FDNY facility on March 4.

An FDNY press release, accompanied by the text of a letter being sent to the affected patients, said, “Although there is no evidence to date that any of the information stored on the personal device has been accessed, the FDNY is treating the incident as if the information may have been seen by an unauthorized person.”

The loss has been investigated by the NYPD and also internally by the city’s Fire Marshal’s Office.

The portable hard drive belonged to an employee who was authorized to have access to the information.

The potential breach affects 10,253 patients treated or transported by EMS from 2011 to 2018.

“The patient care report contains personal information about the patient that may include name, address, gender, telephone number, date of birth, insurance information number as well as health information related to the reason for the ambulance call,” according to the letter signed by Dr. Glenn Asaeda the FDNY’s Chief Medical director. “Your personal information may have been included on the patient care report for that call.”

The FDNY said those whose Social Security numbers may have been compromised are being offered free credit monitoring.

The letter states that FDNY personnel with high-level access to so-called “protected health information” have been retrained in the department’s privacy and security policies. The department offered no information on any discipline faced by the worker involved.

Those concerned that their information may have been compromised are asked to call 1 (877) 213-1732 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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