Local News

DHHS: Missing client records likely at landfill

Posted January 27, 2011 10:09 a.m. EST

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services

— Missing records of clients' personal information likely ended up at a landfill, a Department of Health and human Services spokeswoman said Wednesday.

A set of computer disks belonging to the Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing came up missing after a recent office renovation, spokeswoman Lori Walston said. The disks were likely accidentally discarded and taken to a landfill.

The disks contained personal information about people who applied for services from the division's Equipment Distribution Service program from January 2005 to December 2008.

Special software is required to access information on the disks, Walston said.

"Our staff is revisiting policies and procedures to ensure protection of all records," DSDHH Director Jan Withers said in a statement. "Since 2008, all of our records were encrypted to protect their safety, and all information will be stored in electronic secure files effective Sept. 30, 2011."

The division has sent letters to clients affected by the missing records and notified the State Bureau of Investigation and Consumer Protection Section of the state Attorney General's Office about the situation.

Concerned clients can contact DSDHH by e-mailing care.line@dhhs.nc.gov or calling 919-855-4400, 919-733-4851 (TTY), 1-800-662-7030 or 1-877-452-2514 (TTY).