Lancaster County EMS reports missing hardware with up to 100,000 individuals' data

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Lancaster County (S.C.) Emergency Medical Services is notifying patients of a potential data breach after discovering two flash drives and two hard drives were missing from a county building.

Lancaster County learned of the missing hardware April 16, 2015. The county launched an investigation and determined the flash drives and hard drives may have contained personal information, including names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers, clinical information and health insurance information.

The incidence affects individuals who received EMS services since 2004.

The flash drives and hard drives were all unencrypted. As of yet, the hardware has not been recovered, but Lancaster County says it has no reason to believe any of the information has been used in any way.

Steve Willis, Lancaster County administrator, told WSCOTV the hardware was stored in a safe, and the safe was discovered to be missing.

"I think [the safe] was most likely just inadvertently discarded," Mr. Willis told WSCOTV.

The WSCOTV report indicates more than 100,000 records may have been contained on the hardware.

According to the notification letter, Lancaster County will now use encrypted devices to store EMS information.

More articles on data breaches:

50k records stolen from pharmaceutical company Akorn offered to highest bidder
Could HealthCare.gov's data warehouse be the target of the next big breach?: 5 things to know
50 things to know about healthcare data security & privacy

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