New York Fire Department warns 10,000 patients about potential data breach

An employee lost an external hard drive with patients' personal information.

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Patients treated or transported by the New York Fire Department Emergency Medical Services between 2011 and 2018 may have had their information compromised. 

Getty Images

More than 10,000 patients who were treated or transported by the New York Fire Department Emergency Medical Services may have had their personal information compromised, the department said Friday. Patients were notified about the possible data breach by mail this week. 

An agency employee lost a personal external hard drive last March, which contained the information, the department said in a statement. 

There's no evidence that the information on the hard drive has been accessed, but the fire department says it's still treating the incident as if an unauthorized person saw it. 

The 3,000 patients who may have had their Social Security numbers compromised are being offered free credit monitoring, the department said.

All 10,253 patients who were notified about the possible data breach were treated or transported by NYFD EMS between 2011 and 2018. 

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