Stolen New York Laptop contained records of Irish Blood Transfusion Service Donors


Watching the evening news on TV – main story concerned the theft of a laptop holding over 167,000 patient donor records –  this happened in New York on 8th February. Sample data was being used on a new system upgrade that the Board is implementing.

In fairness to the Board, they seem to be doing everything right for a
situation like this. An Emergency telephone number has been setup for
concerned donors and recipients, and CEO Andew Kelly was shown
reassuring and explaining how the people affected will be contacted by
post before the end of the week.

In his words, all IBTS laptops have high levels of encryption, and this
was no exception. Speaking though as individual that tries to donate as often as I can  – I hope my name was not on the damn
laptop, encryption or no…

I’ve written in the past about the blood donor experience
and it has been a positive one. On a business note, I’ve also pitched
an IT security awareness service offering to the Blood Transfusion
Board IT Department – one that had been used elsewhere in the Irish
Health Service.

The unfortunate thing for them is that it follows up on some less than positive
stories that have emerged in the last few months regarding problems with the upgrade of the eProgresa system.

According to that investigation by the Irish Medical News :

The existing Progesa software system used
by the Blood Bank will continue to be used by the IBTS. However, the
IBTS said updating the software to the newer ePro­gesa is no longer an
issue for the moment. It said it would now upgrade its hardware system
on which Progesa sits.

It remains to be seen whether this mishap is related directly to that that system upgrade.


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