An anonymous reader writes: ERAS, the electronic method of applying to physician residency program in the United States recently was responsible for the lost of >1,000 social security numbers and addresses of future physicians. The data was stored on an external hard drive which was lost in the public despite strict "data policies and procedures." The doctors are told to fear not, however, and are offered a 2-year free subscription to credit report monitoring programs. A copy of the e-mail sent to those affected follows below.
On January 13, 2010, an external hard drive containing a copy of your application information was lost.
Specifically, in an attempt to resolve a technical problem, an AAMC staff member, in violation of AAMC data policies and procedures, transported a copy of application information for a small subset of ERAS applicants, including you, on a password-protected USB hard drive. This hard drive contains your name, address, SSN/SIN as applicable, MSPE Report and medical school transcript; it does not include your credit card or other payment information entered by the ERAS applicant. We have reported the hard drive as missing to the authorities, and we continue to make every effort to locate and retrieve the hard drive. To date, we have not been successful; however, there is no evidence to indicate that data has been misused.