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Data for 700,000-plus home-care workers, recipients goes missing in mail

May 11, 2012|By Chris Megerian | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Personal data for more than 700,000 people who provide or receive home care for the elderly and disabled may have been compromised when a shipment of payroll data went missing on Wednesday, according to an internal government email obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The state learned of the breach on Wednesday, the email said. Hewlett Packard, which handles the payroll information for workers in California's In-Home Supportive Services program, told officials that the data disappeared when it was being shipped in the mail to a state office in Riverside.

"While we continue to investigate, at this time we can't confirm whether the information was damaged, lost or stolen," the email said.

The package contained sensitive information dated from October to December 2011, including names, Social Security numbers, state employer identification numbers and wages. The breach was confirmed by Oscar Ramirez, a spokesman for the California Department of Social Services.

Since learning the package disappeared, the state has opened an investigation and notified law enforcement, the email said. Officials also plan to mail notices to everyone whose data may have been affected.

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