Financial Data of Over a Thousand Employers Potentially Exposed by Reckless Handling of Passwords by State of California Employees, Charges Nurse

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Nurse Barbara Clark continues crusade for patient privacy by revealing how easy it is to obtain passwords to a California Department of Industrial Relations web-site operated for private insurers

Web-site passwords, over a thousand in number, issued by the California Office of Self Insured Plans were obtained by a former Adventist nurse in a building parking lot. The nurse is suing the director of the department in Sacramento federal court (see Clark vs. Rea, Case No.: NO. 2:05-CV-2410-FCD-KLM).

Organizations affected by the lapse of data security include Tyco International, Chevron, Texaco, Kraft Foods, Michelin, Eastman Kodak, Boeing, etc. In an e-mail dated January 20, 2006, Office of Self Insurance Plans manager Mark Johnson advised that, “Enclosed is a list of private self insurers’ passwords in Excel.”

According to Clark, the copies of Johnson’s e-mail message and a password list were easy to find in a public parking lot. “What disturbs me is the lack of warning labels on this material,” Clark said.

“Johnson’s e-mail states that certain data was to be “pre-filled” on the department's web-site,” she continued.

“Maybe now I will get the attention of Governor Schwarzenegger and John Rea who has never bothered to respond to my federal lawsuit alleging sloppy foot-dragging in Mr. Johnson’s office, although the Attorney General was served over thirty days ago,” she said.

Mr. Rea, a Schwarenegger political appointee, is the acting director of the Department of Industrial Relations and Mr. Johnson’s supervisor. Johnson's office certifies 'self insured' employers that provide their own workers comp insurance for employees. Clark's former employer, the Adventist hospital chain of Roseville, is one of those firms.

A copy of Mr. Johnson’s e-mail message and a sampling of the password file (with passwords blacked out) can be seen at

Clark, a handicapped disabled injured worker, is organizing a protest rally on the steps of the Sacramento federal courthouse at 501 "I" Street on Feb. 1st at noon to call attention to patient privacy rights. Her federal lawsuit alleges violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) concerning security breaches of her medical records by agents of the Adventist hospital chain.

For information on Barb Clark visit


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Debbie Phillips
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