CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (WTVD) -- UNC School of Dentistry is alerting some of its patients that their personal information may have gotten into the wrong hands.
According to the school, this inadvertent disclosure happened after one of the school's postgraduate dental residents car was broken into. The school sent a letter informing patients that their personal information was stored on either a laptop and/or an SD card for a digital camera device.
The letter states these devices were stolen from the resident's car, and since the school is not certain the devices were properly protected with electronic security measures, it is possible patient's information may be accessible.
The UNC School of Dentistry provided me this statement on the matter:
"We sincerely regret this incident occurred and have reached out to all individuals who may be affected to inform them that certain pieces of their information may be accessible following the theft of the devices and to offer free credit monitoring for one year. The privacy and security of patients' personal information is a top priority and we have policies and procedures in place for individuals who handle such information. To prevent this from happening in the future, we are retraining our dental residents on our existing policies for use and storage of patients' information and reemphasizing the importance of security with our dental staff, students and faculty."
A representative says the School of Dentistry sees roughly 77,000 patients each year, they have sent letters to about 200 people who they believe may have been affected.