A California Department of Public Health (CDPH) investigation has found that personal and workers' compensation information of approximately 9,000 current and former state employees was improperly copied to a private hard-drive and removed from state offices, said CDPH Director Dr. Ron Chapman. At this time, the CDPH investigation has not uncovered any indication that the information has been misused or further disclosed.
"We regret that the personal information of our employees was compromised," said Chapman. "We take the breach of any secure documents very seriously and are committed to taking steps to minimize any impact of this action and further strengthen our security policy."
The security breach of information impacts most current CDPH and California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) employees, as well as nearly 3,000 employees of the former Department of Health Services (DHS). The personal information contained individual names and addresses in conjunction with varying combinations of Social Security numbers, ethnicity, birth dates, next of kin and the addresses of those individuals listed as next of kin, and/or information from workers' compensation documents.
CDPH was alerted to unusual activity discovered by the department's security detection system on April 5. CDPH immediately initiated an investigation and discovered the unauthorized removal of information from state premises by an employee. The employee is currently on administrative leave until the investigation is completed.
CDPH has begun implementing additional internal safeguards to protect employee information as the investigation progresses. CDPH is also conducting a thorough review of information security policies and will put in place any additional necessary policies or practices to help prevent such an incident from happening again.
CDPH will offer credit monitoring services to affected individuals. Additional information is available at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/PrivacyOffice.aspx Also, a toll-free phone line has been established to help address questions from current and former employees: (877) 421-9634. CDPH encourages employees to activate the one-year credit monitoring membership by calling the toll-free line.