Kaiser Permanente Notifies 13.4 Million Members of Data Exposure.. Again!

San Diego CA November 10, 2020. The new Kaiser Permanente Medical office building in Clairemont Mesa. ()iStock

In a recent announcement, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, known as Kaiser Permanente, has alerted its 13.4 million members about a potential exposure of their personal data. The healthcare giant disclosed that the incident occurred in mid-April and stemmed from online technologies embedded within its website and mobile applications.

According to a statement issued by Kaiser Permanente, the online tools in question may have inadvertently transmitted patients’ personal information to third-party vendors, including Google, Microsoft Bing, and X (Twitter), whenever members and patients accessed the company’s digital platforms.

However, Kaiser Permanente clarified that sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, Social Security numbers, and payment information were not compromised in the incident. Despite this assurance, the breach has been documented on the Department of Health and Human Services’ breach notification portal.

This disclosure underscores the ongoing challenges faced by healthcare organizations in safeguarding patient data amid the increasing reliance on digital platforms for healthcare delivery and management. While Kaiser Permanente has taken steps to address the breach and minimize its impact, the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of robust data security measures and continuous monitoring to protect sensitive information.

As patients and healthcare consumers, it’s crucial to remain vigilant about the security of our personal data and to actively engage with healthcare providers regarding privacy policies and data protection protocols. Additionally, incidents like this highlight the need for greater transparency and accountability within the healthcare industry to ensure the trust and confidence of patients and members.

Kaiser Permanente has assured its members that it is actively investigating the incident and implementing additional security measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Nevertheless, the breach serves as a wake-up call for all stakeholders involved in healthcare delivery to prioritize data security and privacy as fundamental pillars of patient care and trust.


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