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Anthem Blue Cross is sued over data security breach

Insurance applicant Patrick Magorien seeks class action status on behalf of consumers whose personal data were compromised.

September 17, 2010|By Duke Helfand

An applicant for Anthem Blue Cross insurance has sued the giant insurer over allegations that it failed to protect his confidential information from computer hackers who gained access to the company's internal records earlier this year.

The lawsuit, filed by Patrick Magorien of Sacramento, stems from a security breach involving attorneys who were suing Anthem and gained access to private information of people who had applied for insurance.

Magorien says in his lawsuit that his Social Security number, address and credit card numbers were released, potentially exposing him to identity theft. Magorien had also provided personal medical information to Anthem when he applied for insurance in June 2009.

His suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks class action status on behalf of others whose personal data were compromised.

"I'm really concerned for me personally and for everyone else who lost information," said Magorien, 25. "There is a lot of stuff in there that is really important."

Anthem declined to comment on the lawsuit. But in a June 18 letter to Magorien and in a subsequent public statement, the Woodland Hills insurer said it addressed the problem as soon as it learned about the breach. Anthem did not sayhow many people were affected.

In the public statement, the company said: "Anthem Blue Cross is committed to protecting the privacy and security of our members' and applicants' personal information, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations."

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