The city of Milwaukee has filed a complaint with HHS' Office for Civil Rights over the loss of personal information of as many as 9,000 city employees, their spouses and domestic partners by the city's wellness program vendor.
According to the complaint, the city provided Froedtert Workforce Health with a password-protected encrypted flash drive containing patient names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and gender. However, that information was allegedly transferred to an unencrypted, non-password protected flash drive that was reported stolen on Oct. 21 from the car of an employee of United/Dynacare, a lab with which Froedtert subcontracted to perform blood tests on Milwaukee city employees.
“It was not until the afternoon of Nov. 15 that city of Milwaukee representatives were informed of the loss by Froedtert representatives,” according to the complaint. The complaint also notes that the Milwaukee Police Department, which had investigated the car theft, was not informed of the missing flash drive or its contents. “Obviously, this information would have affected the nature of the investigation had they been informed,” according to the complaint. “Upon learning this, the police reopened their investigation and spoke further with the Dynacare employee involved.”
The city is asking for the maximum allowable penalties against Dynacare.
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