The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Blue Cross upsets plan members by printing social security numbers on envelopes 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida has upset a number of plan members by accidentally printing social security numbers on the outside of envelopes sent out in the last couple of weeks.

From the reports, this shouldn't have happened. Sure, mistakes happen but the company had phased out using SSNs for its plan members ... except for this one group of policy holders. Why they didn't include this group is not clear in the article.

I have to applaud the company, however, for they way it has responded to the incident. The spokesperson acknowledges that it has upset people and that it should not have happened. He also invites affected members to contact the company so they can see what can be done to "make it right":

RedNova News - Health - Blue Cross Faux Pas Ticks Off Clients

"Two years ago, Blue Cross voluntarily began to do away with Social Security-based policynumbers. The old IDs, however, were not updated for one group of customers. In addition, the policynumber field that should have been omitted from the label was still present, said Randy Kammer, the company's vice president of regulatory affairs and public policy.

"We made an error and we apologize," Kammer said Wednesday. "If people feel like they're damaged, they should come to us and tell us what they feel the nature of the damage was and see what we can do to make it right."

"But I don't think there is any damage."

But just in case, the insurer said it will pay affected policyholders any expenses involved in monitoring of their credit reports.

Kammer refers to the error as case of "no harm, no foul," because all the affected letters were believed to have reached their recipients, since none were returned.

"There shouldn't be any identity theft unless you've got rogue postal carriers out there copying down numbers," she said."

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9/07/2005 06:45:00 AM  :: (1 comments)  ::  Backlinks
It is unfortunate that blue cross had made that error. Although they are a great health insurance company.
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