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05/10/2013

News / Vital information from 2,000 California birth certificates “compromised” – state health officer

A microfiche reel containing the copies of 2,000 birth certificates from nine counties in California was found in an unsecure location, prompting fears that the information obtained could have been used by identity thieves and other criminals. The microfiche also contained addresses, Social Security numbers and some medical information.

All of the copies present on the microfiche were of birth certificates issued between May and September 1974.

“It only affects you if you were born during those months in 1974 in one of nine counties,” California Department of Public Health spokesperson Anita Gore stated. “And those counties would be Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Cruz Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, or Tehama counties.”

Gore also advised all those affected to obtain a free credit report to monitor their credit score. While she did not say exactly where the microfiche reel was found, or who found it, she did note that the breach appeared to be an isolated incident.

The California Department of Public Health is trying to find out how the microfiche ended up in the unsecure location in the first place. The California Highway Patrol is also investigating the matter.

“We regret that this information has been compromised,” Dr. Ron Champan, the director of the California Department of Public Health and state health officer, said in a statement. “We take the breach of any personal information very seriously and are committed to improving our security systems.”


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