Town Square

Post a New Topic

Computer with patient info stolen from Stanford

Original post made on Aug 3, 2012

A computer containing some medical and personal information for approximately 2,500 patients was stolen from a Stanford faculty member's locked office sometime between July 15 and 16, according to Stanford University Medical Center.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 3, 2012, 9:53 AM

Comments (9)

Like this comment
Posted by encrypted?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 3, 2012 at 10:14 am

Was the data encrypted or easily readable by crooks?
Why did they wait 3 weeks to contact the victims?

Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm

"The computer, ...was outfitted with software that would detect when and where the computer connected to the Internet. No detection has occurred yet."

Perhaps this should have been left out of the article.

Like this comment
Posted by *c
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Your private data isn't safe at Stanford Medical Center. These breaches have occurred with shocking frequency. The New York Times reported last September that medical records from the Emergency Department were posted on the Internet for over a year. The names of patients and their diagnoses were out there for the public to see. I don't know how many laptops have disappeared in the past few years, but this isn't an isolated incident. Too many people here are walking around with too much unencrypted data.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm

And how many times did this happen? Not the first. A big debacle re: records of ER patients in March, 2009. and there was some other incident at Stanford also. "Victims"were given 'complimentary insurance policies'. The PA Clinic had to do it also for another incident when a huge amount of patient data was stolen, and that allegedly happened in Sacramento -when billing was outsourced there. WHY WAS THIS DATA IN A FACULTY MEMBER'S OFFICE??

Like this comment
Posted by unsettled
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2012 at 12:07 am

When I filled out our information for the coming school year on the PAUSD computers, the information we put in last year was missing, and in its place was a two word name that could not have been put in there by us. Other information was simply missing. I assumed it was the kind of snafu we've been dealing with since day one -- the first year we had to fill out our information twice -- but then realized there had to be a security breach if additional information were inserted in our files. I called to express my concerns, and the person in charge of security for the district basically told me it didn't happen and couldn't have happened, and that there was no security breach.

This Stanford incident is just the one you hear about because something physically was stolen.

What are the laws applying to the responsibility of the university, the doctor, the schools, anyone, to safeguard our information?

Like this comment
Posted by responsible healthcare providers?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Wow, sounds like irresponsible healthcare providers. Have they determined the accuracy of this report -- the office was locked, and so on? This is an appropriate occasion for our lawmakers to do something meaningful - enact laws, provisions requiring high quality security for our valuable private data we have to fork over to these folks. Enact clear penalties for inattention, lack of care with such data.

Like this comment
Posted by moi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Computer was stolen sometime between July 15 and 16?

That would be July 15-and-a-half?

Like this comment
Posted by Common sense
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

The law could be simple: no patient data stored on laptops.

I can't remember a time when I heard of a desktop being stolen.

Like this comment
Posted by Not Surprised
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Is anybody surprised? The Hubris at the medical center is epic. This is not the first time. Years back they left every staff members Social Security numbers open to anybody on their website. Also because it was an MD nothing will come of this lapse.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Food Party! 420
By Laura Stec | 10 comments | 2,239 views

What Are Your Gifts that Must Be Shared?
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,187 views


Best Of Palo Alto ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "Best Of Palo Alto" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 29th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 21st issue of the Palo Alto Weekly.