April 19, 2010
Nashville identity Theft Examiner - Brandon King | 157,000 BlueCross BlueShield members were recently sent letters informing them their nightmare was just beginning.
In October of last year, 57 hard drives were pilfered from a closet at a Chattanooga, Tennessee call center. The hard drives contained approximately 1.3 million audio files and 300,000 video files.
In the files were demographic information, BlueCross BlueShield ID numbers, diagnostic information and 220,000 social security numbers of 500,000 BCBS members.
The files, although encoded, were not encrypted.
BCBS spokeswoman Mary Thompson said in a statement, “There is minimal risk to the members’ data being accessed due to the specialized nature of the hardware stolen and the difficulties with accessing[the information]"
A majority of the 500,000 affected members were Tennessee residents; five hundred members from 32 other states were exposed by the breach. Notification letters were sent out to 157,000 affected members who will also be offered a year of identity theft monitoring services.