Brain donor records missing from Partners HealthCare-affiliated hospital

A psychiatric hospital owned by Boston-based Partners HealthCare has reported backup data tapes containing information on 12,600 people who donated their brains to research are missing.

McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., stored unencrypted four backup data tapes at its Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center. They were discovered missing May 29, according to a hospital notice.

The information contained on the tapes included names, birth dates, diagnoses and some Social Security numbers. Most of the individuals whose information is on the tapes are dead, though some people who have committed to donating their brain tissue to research upon death and family members of brain donors are affected by the breach.

The tapes have yet to be found, but McLean Hospital said it has no reason to believe any of the information has been accessed or inappropriately used.

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