Alaska will pay $1.7 million to the federal government for a 2009 security breach involving patient data--the second largest HIPAA settlement and the first against a state agency, alaskapublic.org reports. A federal investigation into the breach "found inferior security measures in place at Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services," the report states. The incident involved the theft of a portable hard drive from the car of an employee of the State Department of Health and Social Services. Susan McAndrew of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the settlement amount is high because of the number of infractions and the security lapses being "fairly fundamental and fairly longstanding."
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