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A major health insurance company left customer data wide open

A major health insurance company left customer data wide open
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Your health insurance company has a lot of information about you. That's no surprise. Health insurance providers need access to all sorts of personal medical information to provide us with the services we pay for. And, we trust that they'll keep that information safe. But, one recent Blue Cross email snafu contained sensitive customer medical information that could be exposed for nearly anyone to see.

Earlier this week, some customers got emails from Anthem Blue Cross that accidentally included sensitive personal information in the subject line. Anthem Blue Cross is a subsidiary of Wellpoint and has about 800,000 customers in California.

But the emails’ subject lines included member-specific demographic details like age range and language. They also listed possible medical screening tests — marked “Y” for recommended tests and “N” for tests not listed in the email.

One Anthem Blue Cross subscriber received an email that started normally with the subject "Don’t miss out — call your doctor today". But, following that statement it also included information about her cervical cancer, mammogram and colonoscopy history.

These customers were sent personal information about themselves, so it might not sound like a big deal. But, it actually is a fairly serious security problem.

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