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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Welcome to Florida the rules are the same here

Not different? No, not at all. Down in Miami we have a South Florida version of the VA stolen personal information story. What is it about public employees and taking loads of work data home so it can be stolen? Just reckless disregard or reckless apathy?

Note- My sister-in-law works at Miami Jackson Hospital. She says her info is safe.

Open Post- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle Blog,

Jackson Health System informed 8,500 employees this week that their personal information may be at risk following the theft of two laptop computers seven months ago.

The computers, belonging to financial services provider ING, contained information gathered during a voluntary life insurance enrollment drive in December and included names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

''We are relatively certain the computers were stolen for their hardware value and the personal information was not accessed,'' said Chuck Eudy, a North American spokesman for ING, based in Amsterdam.

An inventory check at the company's Minneapolis office revealed the laptops were missing in late December, but auditors didn't realize they contained sensitive data until about three weeks ago, Eudy said.

Jackson Health was notified of the possible data breach soon afterward and sent letters to its employees this week.

''This matter is specifically related to our work with an outside vendor, and is in no way a reflection of any problem with our own data security process,'' Jackson said in a statement.


Martha Baker, a registered nurse and president of the 4,000-strong Service Employees Internation Union local at Jackson Memorial Hospital, said no one had complained of a possible identity theft issue.

''If it happened seven months ago, that's kind of comforting because you would think we would have heard something by now,'' Baker said.

But that's not necessarily true, according to Thomas Sadaka, an attorney with business law firm Berger Singerman, who previously worked for the Florida Statewide Prosecutor on Computer Crime and Identity Theft Prosecution.

Sadaka said identity thieves will sit on personal information for years before using it, precisely because victims become complacent.

''Real identity theft doesn't mean someone takes over your existing accounts, because you are going to notice that right away. They are going to open new accounts, maybe pay the bill the first couple of months, age the accounts by making payments, so they can make bigger purchases,'' Sadaka said.

ING is offering a credit monitoring service to Jackson Health employees for a year for those who sign up and will cover expenses should an employee fall victim to identity fraud.

Sadaka said it is absolutely necessary for employees to regularly check their consumer credit reports for the next several years.

''The thing is that now your information is out there. If I am a professional ID thief, your info -- your name, Social Security number, mother's maiden name -- isn't going to change from today to a year to several years from now,'' Sadaka pointed out.

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