Auto burglaries have been on the rise, and this one affects more than just the car owner.
A laptop computer stolen out of an employee’s vehicle in November held the medical and certain personal information about developmentally disabled consumers of the North Los Angeles County Regional Center, according to an agency notification.
The agency is a nonprofit service provider under contract with the California Department of Developmental Services to coordinate and provide community-based services to persons with developmental disabilities (its consumers) in the Santa Clarita, Antelope and San Fernando valleys.
The agency issued the notice because the release of information, intentional or not, constitutes a breach under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
There was no personal financial information or Social Security numbers on the laptop, the agency said.
Instead, it held some of its consumers’ names, date of birth, address, phone number, contact person, place and type of residence, ambulatory and respiratory state, and each consumer’s identifying number with the agency.
The agency said that when the theft was discovered, a police report was filed and the service providers the agency uses were “advised about how to protect themselves from identity theft, including contacting a credit reporting agency … and placing a fraud alert on their files,” the notice said.
“We currently do not have any reason to believe that private information has been compromised by anyone in any way, or that the breach will result in any financial harm to any consumer,” the agency said Friday.
Consumers who had personal information on the stolen laptop – and for whom the agency still has an address – “have already or will shortly” receive a letter, the agency said.
Persons who think their information might have been compromised may call NLACRC at 818-756-6409.