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The recent breach at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, and another at California's Department of Child Support Services involving the loss of backup tapes containing records on 800,000 individuals are the latest in a series of preventable breaches and indicate the need for data encryption, says one expert. Mark Bower of Voltage Security says in the case of the hospital--in which a contractor downloaded patient files to a personal laptop--the data should have been deidentified on an individual basis. Another expert says the department of child support services should have encrypted the tapes--which included health insurance information and driver's license numbers.
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