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Customers alerted to BlueCross data breach [Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.]
[January 10, 2010]

Customers alerted to BlueCross data breach [Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.]

(Chattanooga Times (TN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 10--Customers of Chattanooga-based insurer BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee slowly are being notified by mail of a potential breach of their personal information.

This week, BCBS will provide updated data to the public on exactly how many customers were exposed when 57 hard drives were pilfered in October from a storage closet at the insurer's Eastgate Town Center branch, said company spokeswoman Mary Thompson.

"We've reach a critical mass with our analysis of the information, and this week we think we can update the public," Ms. Thompson said. "We're going to be doing a really full breakdown of how many were potentially exposed." Letters are being mailed in batches as the data is being combed over and the breaches are discovered, Ms. Thompson said.

So far, there is no evidence the data has been successfully accessed or used to harm any customer's credit, Ms. Thompson said. But the insurer, in the letters, is offering customers free credit monitoring for one year.

The hard drive data is encrypted in such a fashion, that Ms. Thompson said, that it would be difficult for whomever stole the hard drives to access it. However, the hard drives may include names, insurance ID numbers, dates of birth, Social Security and information about the customer's medical conditions.

In the letter, the company alerted clients via Priority Mail that some members' personal information is contained in the hard drives. Company or group administrators received letters from Tena Roberson, the deputy general counsel and chief privacy officer for BlueCross.

"The call recordings may have included the member's name and ID number," wrote Ms. Roberson. "Additionally, some recordings may have included the member's date of birth or Social Security number." To see more of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

Copyright (c) 2010, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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